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It’s tough to envision a world where our questions aren’t answered with one simple Google search. But sometimes, the search engine has you going past the second page only to realize you’ve reached a dead end. This week, we have an app specifically created for answering your questions in an unconventional way: Live-streaming.
Askedoo is a live-stream Q&A video chat platform meant to replace text-based Q&A websites. It connects you to a community of people who can answer your question in real time related to categories such as technology, home and garden, fashion, as well as beauty. Described as “Periscope meeting Ask Jeeves,” the app’s goal is to set you up with someone who has an answer, and seeing as how its user base is global, someone should always be around to help out.
Through the app, you can start a live broadcast with your own question or watch in on someone else’s. There’s also the option to rate your experience through high fives and search for other questions you can help answer yourself. The app even welcomes people to “Host a Topic,” where influencers and experts host a webinar-type stream and set prices for others to participate. For example, if you’re a professional makeup artist and want to earn some additional cash on the side, you can host a live-stream class training session at your own price.
Another way to make money through the app is through private Q&A sessions — similar to the days of ChaCha. For a nominal fee of $10, askers have the option to enter a one-on-one live-stream broadcast. The selected “answerer” receives 80 percent of the amount — $8 — and Askedoo takes 20 percent. The asker can tip the answerer up to $100 for their expertise, if they’d like. All of your revenue is tracked in the app labeled under the piggy bank tab. It shows how much you’ve made through Askedoo along with the amount you’ve earned in tips as well.
Your profile can be customized to include details like your expertise and a short bio. There’s usage stats that show how many questions you’ve asked and your broadcast time, along with the amount of questions you’ve watched and your watch time. All of your recent broadcasts and announcements are archived in your history which you can refer back to later through your profile. When you’re on someone else’s live-stream, a swipe to the left will reveal the question, channel, time elapsed, and total views.
With a scroll-through interface similar to Instagram’s feed, I found myself mindlessly scrolling through the questions until I reached the end rather quickly. The app officially launched in July, but the amount of questions were dismal. Even when I went to check back the next day, I refreshed the app and found the same ones from before.
There were no live broadcasts to tune in to, so I had to settle for checking out the past streams. It’d be nice if you could subscribe to specific categories you consider yourself an expert in and receive push notifications when someone goes live.
Similar to Facebook Live, you can play back the livestream and watch when people joined in and asked questions. With 5,000 active users on the app, I saw nine people join the live stream at most and only a few comments generated — which you could argue is enough as long as one of them answers the question, but it felt uncomfortably empty.
When I tried asking a question on Askedoo, the setup was simple. I typed in my question, chose a category, hit “Go Live,” and waited for someone to answer. It only took a few seconds before one person entered the chat and started sending answers. But sitting there and waiting for a response became boring rather quickly, and I ended it after only a few minutes. The experience wasn’t at all revolutionary. It didn’t help that the front-facing camera zooms in so closely on your face that you start to panic while trying to find the “end” button.
But if a livestream is only attracting a few viewers and responses, it’s tough to see a difference between posting it on your social media accounts instead. Or the even more obvious resource — typing it into Google. When I showed the app to a co-worker, he took two of the first questions that appeared on the app and immediately found a straight-forward answer on Google in seconds. Having to log on to Askedoo, type in your question, go live, and wait around hoping someone is there to answer your question correctly is a lot of unnecessary work.
One broadcast I watched titled, “How do I sharpen these knives” saw only one semi-helpful response but the most ironic was when two people suggested searching Google or YouTube.
While I understand this app is trying to stand in as a modernized version of Q&A platforms, the fact that it’s visually based is its downfall. Random questions that pertain to household items or beauty don’t require a live-stream. What differentiates Askedoo is the ability to make a few extra bucks. But judging off the amount of content posted on a daily basis, don’t expect to be rolling in dough.
The education and tutoring category seem to be great for the live-stream format — there aren’t many successful apps that bridge the gap between online tutoring and smartphones. It’s a situation where a one-on-one Q&A session would make the most sense, especially when you need help right away. It’s also where Google and YouTube fail at times because homework problems are all unique, and it becomes tough to find a specific answer. Too bad the category was empty with content in Askedoo.
If you want to check the app out, it’s currently available for iOS. As for Android and desktop apps, it’s currently in development.
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