Capitalizing upon human curiosity is a pretty genius business idea — just ask Quora, which now claims that its site receives 80 million monthly unique visits, half of which come from the United States. Apparently, sometimes, figuring out the keywords for a Google search is just too dang hard.
These latest statistics were posted in a recent Q&A on Quora (where else would they be?) and they came from none other than founder Adam D’Angelo. “We have about 80 million monthly uniques,” D’Angelo wrote. “About half are from the U.S. and 15 percent are from India. But, we don’t focus much on these numbers because we usually optimize for quality and that comes with a trade-off against volume.”
It’s certainly not unusual to see high-ranking executives (particularly from tech companies) participating in conversations on the site. But given the amount of skin D’Angelo has in the Quora game, it’s no surprise that a number of people have expressed skepticism over the legitimacy of the figures he provided.
“Considering that most people I know are active Internet users but don’t use or visit Quora, I find this unlikely,” said one user. “Are you sure there’s not a problem with your counting method, or that you accidentally reported the wrong statistic?”
Of course, all things considered, 80 million monthly hits still doesn’t make Quora fully competitive with major social media sites (Pinterest recently reported 100 million monthly active users). But D’Angelo is still confident in his company’s trajectory, responding to naysayers, “If the people you sampled were random Internet users you’d expect 90 percent of them not to use or visit Quora so I think your experience is consistent with the data. (Separately, this has also grown over time and the last time you talked to people about Quora may have been when we were smaller).”
It’s worth noting the difference between monthly visits, a metric that will include multiple visits by individual users, and unique monthly visitors, which is a count of separate IP addresses from which a site was reached. Even applying the lower “visits” metric, Quora seems to be doing well.
Thus far, Quora has raised $141 million in venture capital funds, and while it doesn’t seem to be on the road to an IPO just yet, it’s definitely a company to watch.