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Quora Opens Loopholes To Enable Sharing With Non-Registered Friends

imageIn the past few weeks, Quora has been criticised by its users for the restrictions the site puts on sharing with people who have not registered. Last week, Quora responded to these criticisms in a blog post which explained the reasoning behind the restrictions and revealed some loopholes around it.

In the blog post, Quora employee Marc Bodnick, admits that many of the site’s writers have “expressed strong feelings about being able to freely share from the site, regardless of whether the person you're sharing with wants to join Quora.”

“We ask people to sign up because it's important to our mission -- to share and grow the world's knowledge”, says Bodnick. “The more people who join Quora, the more knowledge is added.”

Quora need users to register because it increases their “participation”, making it more likely for them to return to Quora to write, ask, read, vote and follow. The more people write and ask, the more information there will be on the site. The more people vote and follow, the easier it is to determine the quality of the information.

The most obvious benefit to registration is that it increases membership figures, benefitting both Quora and Quora’s writers, whose own readership will increase as a result.

“We are delivering increasingly large audiences to our writers”, says Bodnick, “one of our top writers recently announced that he had achieved 1 million views on Quora in only four months. In the coming year, active writers on Quora can achieve 1+ million annual views, with some people achieving 3-4+ million.”

Despite Bodnick’s insistence that compulsory Quora registration is beneficial to its users, he admits that there must be some leeway given to those who want to share with people who are not registered. To enable this, Quora has opened three loopholes:
  1. Share on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Starting today, when you use the Share button to share on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, people won't be asked to join Quora to read what you've shared.
  2. Sharing URLs. Another option is to share pages using short links (e.g., when you want to share via email). You can get a short link by clicking the Share button and then copying the short URL listed at the top of the Share box. Other people can open that link without being asked to join Quora to read the content.
  3. Open any Quora URL. If you come across a Quora link anywhere and you want to read it without being asked to join Quora, you can add the text "?share=1" to the end of the URL. Example:http://www.quora.com/Hostage-Situations/What-does-it-feel-like-to-be-a-hostage-negotiator?share=1
Quora hope that, by reaching out to a wider audience on dominant social media sites like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, they can attract new users onto their own site.

The three loopholes are only available to desktop users: mobile users will still have to register with Quora via an app to use the service. All Things Digital reported that, in a follow up statement, Bodnick said:
Accounting for about 25% of overall traffic, mobile platforms are important and growing on Quora — for both reading and contributing. We’ve worked hard to create the best mobile experience with our Android and iOS apps, and we encourage users to download them for the optimal mobile experience. We are always listening to the feedback of our community, and will continue to iterate the way that we help people discover the best Quora experience on any device.
Would you register to use Quora? Or, would you prefer the service to be unrestricted across all platforms?

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Will Sigsworth

Follow us @SocialMediaF & @WillAtSMF

www.socialmediafrontiers.com
Quora Opens Loopholes To Enable Sharing With Non-Registered Friends Reviewed by Will Sigsworth on Tuesday, February 19, 2013 Rating: 5
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