Ask.com taps into social networking: Differentiates itself from rivals

It seems that Ask.com, the internet search engine, is seeking to differentiate itself from its rivals by tapping into social networking. It’s testing a new service called, “Ask the Community,” whereby users can ask questions to other Ask.com users, thereby giving Ask.com more of a position on the social networking scene that’s ever-growing in popularity.

IAC/InterActive Corp.-owned Ask.com, has obviously realized the potential of social networking and this is a strong move into that market. In June, analytics firm comScore figured that Ask.com had only 3.6% share of the U.S. search market, according to Alexei Oreskovic over on Reuters. This move by Ask.com is certainly one way of placing itself apart from rivals, Google, Yahoo and Microsoft.

Now instead of displaying links to websites where users can get answers to questions the “Ask the Community” feature will be able to provide relevant and precise answers to users. President of Ask.com U.S., Doug Leeds, explained that questions will be routed to users with expertise on different subjects which will be more useful for subjective search queries. It makes Ask the first of the main search engines to incorporate a specific question-and-answer service.

Leeds added that it’s expected overall searching will increase as once people have used the new Q & A service, they will be more likely to go on to use the customary search engine for supplementary information. For more on this go to Reuters.com. What do you think of Ask.com’s idea of “Ask the Community.” We’d be interested to hear your comments on this.