In a rather unexpected move, Yahoo has today taken a bold step to secretly debut the mobile app for its widely popular community-driven question and answers (Q&A) platform — Yahoo Answers. The app is currently live on the Apple App Store and requires an invite code to gain access to the platform natively on mobile. There is currently no word on the Android release.
This application, which has been christened Yahoo Answers Now, provides a native mobile experience for the web version of the knowledge platform. This enables you to discover, view, ask and answer questions to help out the 3.1 billion user strong online community active on the platform on a monthly basis. You also have the option to track the progress of your questions and see if they’ve been answered by someone.
Yahoo Answers Now is a rebranded version of a similar mobile app, called Hive, which the tech behemoth had been testing among users for quite some time. This closed beta for a Quora-like mobile platform was first spotted by Mashable earlier in July but there was there was no info for the app releasing to the public in the coming months. And it still hasn’t. It is still in beta and requires an invite.
The company is now trying to bank upon the brand image of its Yahoo Answers platform and compete against the likes of Quora and Jelly, another Q&A platform launched by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. Yahoo has tried to emulate the minimalistic entity of their already existing community platform and coupled it with an easy-to-access interface for posting and responding to questions.
In addition, the application also derives inspiration from the renowned enterprise messaging app ‘Slack’ to use emojis for rating answers on the platform. The users now needn’t use only text to respond to queries but also include rich media to make their replies more engaging and accepting. We’re still unaware if the company has kept the ‘Best Answer’ functionality intact in this Answers mobile app.
The release of this app in late 2016 might come as a surprise to most but the suffering search giant is possibly looking to save a sinking ship, which might soon be moving under the leadership of telecom giant Verizon. But the said $4.8 billion acquisition is currently in jeopardy to multiple allegations on the integrity of the search giant. Just days after the deal, the search giant revealed that over 500 user accounts have been compromised in a state-sponsored (not really! they were hackers!) attack back in 2014.
The confirmation of this massive hack was followed with the reports of Yahoo obliging to a request from U.S Intelligence agencies to snoop around all of its e-mail accounts. This task reportedly involved a modified spam e-mail scanner which scanned particular keyword and was authorized by the CEO Marissa Mayer and her legal team.
This has, thus, pushed Verizon to reconsider its acquisition deal and it’s now looking to confirm whether the attack on Yahoo’s mail servers is material or not. It has reportedly also considered a billion dollar rebate on the deal to acquire most of Yahoo’s core business assets but the search giant has recently confessed of having knowledge of the breach back when it actually occurred.