Yesterday, Facebook rolled out a new product, Questions. Similar to LinkedIn Answers, users can ask a question and instantly get answers from the Facebook community, a 500 million+userbase, that is.

A beta product right now, Facebook Questions is only being tested by limited number of people to get the kinks out and perfect it for the FB community.

Why Questions will be applauded
Who asks a question and does not want the best, most accurate answer possible?
With 500 million users, you have a fair chance of getting an educated, relevant and spot-on response to your question. And, if someone else more educated on the topic feels differently about a previous response, they can come back with a more accurate answer.

Why Questions will have an impact on Google
Google does not label itself as a Question search engine but in essence, many people’s queries are in fact questions. The best boutique hotel near Central Park, the best seafood restaurant in New Orleans, the best honeymoon beach location. While users queries may not be phrased as questions they often, in fact, are.

Instead of typing these questions/queries into Google, users may now rely on Facebook for answers. And, due to the rating system on Facebook Questions (answers are rated by whether they’re helpful or not, so ideally, the best content rises to the top and spam becomes inconsequential) they may in essence receive a response more appealing than a link they would see on Google.

Again, a product that shows the value of communication
Not that Facebook didn’t already prove that people are looking to mingle with their peers and brands online, but Facebook now hammers that point even more with Facebook Questions. And the real benefit in my opinion of Facebook Questions is the value this product can bring to companies. The way for companies to get in with consumers is to contribute value to the communities they are a part of. Lao Tzu said, If you want to lead the people you must learn how to follow them. Companies can and will get value from Facebook Questions if they utilize it correctly monitor what people are asking, gather insight and data into what the conversations/questions are about and keep track of how people are responding, and by darn get in the conversation and answer questions credibly.

Yes, Google will always be a source for answers, but it’s about time companies/brands start interacting with their potential customers and clients start providing fresh, on-demand responses to their questions and hopefully, they will come!