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Quora keeps searching for growth, this time with user-generated product reviews — Gigaom

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Eliza Kern writes:

This month, the company is announcing a feature that will allow users to leave structured reviews (with a one star to five star rating), adding structure to the traditional feedback people leave on the Q&A site for products like books, TV shows, cars, or tech hardware.

In the past eight months we’ve seen the company launch embeddable threads, an Android app,designated power user status, an “online now” feature, a blogging platform, and a rich text editor for mobile, to name a few. The company took an significant $50 million in venture funding last May, and is clearly under a good deal of pressure to prove traction and adoption (landing it in hot water last month as a result). So embracing a product-driven approach to growth is understandable.

As with all of the company’s updates, the new review features attempts to highlight the quality the company is known for generating in its question and answer pages. Reviews would certainly make the site more even more SEO-friendly by surfacing reviews for popular shows like House of Cards when someone is Googling for information about the show. So it’s a natural progression for the company, although a review feature certainly isn’t unique to Quora.

“I think the biggest benefit is that it provides structure and categorization to this type of knowledge,” said Quora’s Marc Bodnick, who handles marketing for the company. He emphasized that Quora is not as interested in encouraging reviews of local businesses or restaurants, as sites like Yelp have a strong hold on that type of content. “The big reason why we’re excited to launch his product is to signal to readers and writers that there’s one place to write this type of question. So we’re hoping that if users think to themselves that if they want to write something about House of Cards, there will be a place to do that.”

Hmmm... So now they compete with everything from Netflix ratings and Amazon Product Reviews to blogging tools like Tumblr and WordPress?

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