A new Facebook feature is gearing up to waste more of your time very soon. Facebook Questions has been launched in a limited beta test, naturally begging the important question, "What the Heck is Facebook Questions?" We looked to the Facebook blog for answers:
Facebook Questions helps you tap into the collective knowledge of the more than 500 million people on Facebook. For example, if you're vacationing in Costa Rica and want to know the best places to surf, you can use Facebook Questions to get answers from nearby surfing enthusiasts. Because questions will also appear to your friends and their friends, you'll receive answers that are more personalized to you.
For the 1 percent or so of Facebook users that will be able to become beta users, a new question dashboard will appear on their profile page. Here's more on how it will work from Blake Ross, director of product management at Facebook.After you ask a question, you have the option of adding a photo or a poll. Want to know what type of flower is growing in your back yard? Take a photo and attach it to the question. Wondering which video game system is better for your 8 year-old cousin: Nintendo Wii or XBox? Make a poll.
Keep in mind that all questions and answers posted using the Questions application are public and visible to everyone on the Internet. If you only want to ask a question to your friends or a specific group of people, you can still pose it as a status update on your profile targeted to those people.
In case you didn't catch it, the big deal here is that Facebook Questions will not be walled off from the rest of the Internet like most of the rest of its features. This is a bold move, particularly when we consider the recent flap over Facebook's privacy settings. Questions could possibly go head to head with other services like Yahoo! Answers and Google's recently acquired Aardvark .
Since Questions content will be fully public, analysts observe that it could open new avenues for marketing and revenue potential for Facebook. Taking down the member wall for the feature also allows Facebook to have a go at competing with Twitter's chaotic universe of information.
We got a hold of a link to apply for the beta test and have yet to hear back, but we'll keep you posted. The application requires you to write your own sample question and answer, apparently to make sure you're familiar with the concept of Q&A. Here's Facebook's list of sample questions:
Choose a provocative question. Write about things you know. Some examples:
* How can I get over my fear of flying? * What are some fun family activities to do with two small children on the weekend? * What caused the U.S. stock market to crash in 2008? * What's the secret to throwing a great housewarming party? * What are the main differences between Google Chrome and Internet Explorer? * What are women looking for in a relationship? * What methods has BP tried to clean up the oil spill? * What should I do to prepare for the Bar exam? * How did The Beatles find success?
And to answeryour question - no, sorry, can't share it, the link to the beta application already doesn't work anymore.