Question-and-answer forum Quora is using platforms like Buzzfeed and Forbes to get more eyes on its social Q&A content — and this strategy may help the service catch up to Reddit.
Not that Quora is a slouch when it comes to traffic — posts like “I am in my late 20s, and I feel I have wasted a lot of time. Is it too late?” garnered hundreds of answers, including some from successful late bloomers, and has over 385,000 page views. This thread was merged with another to create a Buzzfeed post called “15 Famous Who Didn’t Make It Big Until Way After Their 20s” which racked up around 118,000 views — in other words, Quora’s original posts are often more popular than the posts the website inspires from media allies.
So what’s the benefit? Even though Quora’s traffic is nothing short of impressive, according to AllThingsD, CEO Adam D’Angelo has lofty goals — he wants a top ten website. And content distribution will get more eyes on Quora answers and help familiarize people with the website, although it does require allowing websites to put their own spins on the content. Buzzfeed, for instance, adds GIFs and images, while Quora is predominantly text-based, and does not allow submissions comprised solely of images. So Quora may lose the interest of Buzzfeed readers who prefer image-heavy posts, but for every reader who just wants to see the more easily digestible version, they may gain a loyal Quora user.
Another reason for cooperation: Sites like Buzzfeed have dipped into forums to plumb for content for years, so even if Quora had a vendetta against this kind of co-oping, it probably wouldn’t end well, since it would require legal action to get content inspired by Quora forums scrubbed. Buzzfeed has been in numerous spats with Redditors for alleged plagiarism, and On The Media even asked “Is ‘borrowing’ the secret to Buzzfeed’s success?” While Buzzfeed contains some outstanding original and long form journalism, a lot of its clickbait is snaked from other sources –especially Reddit. Adding Quora to its roster of sources in a more legitimate way is perhaps an even bigger win for Buzzfeed than the exposure is for Quora, although it’s a bit of a cave for Quora.