Facebook has decided it’s time to start a Questions feature based on an astute observation:
Like many of our products, Questions originated as people began using Facebook in a new and unexpected way. People would update their status with a question, and their friends would answer in the comments. We saw this and began thinking about how we could make this interaction more useful.
Let’s see if I’ve got this. Facebook users were asking their friends questions. Facebook then took that to mean their users would like to ask questions that their friends could answer as well as the friends of their friends. Brilliant!
Are you buying it because I’m not. I’m thinking, if people like asking their friends questions, then how is this feature going to be any easier than asking those questions on their walls where their friends are already reading? The big difference here is that your questions can be read by people who are not your friends and answered by them as well. Is that a benefit?
I’d say it’s a benefit if you don’t care who reads what on your Facebook wall. But if you are the type of person who wants to stay in touch with your most intimate friends, then this won’t be a helpful feature. But what if you’re a business?
I think businesses will, of course, be able to make good use of Facebook’s Questions feature. In fact, I see it becoming another Q&A site where businesses will ask questions of their customers and their customers will provide the feedback that businesses need to provide a better service. Maybe that’s what Facebook intends.
I’m not knocking the idea. I think it will be good for businesses. But I wonder how much use it will actually get by average individual Facebook users.