Ask.com plans to go back to its question & answer routine and shift towards social networking, by allowing users to ask questions and letting others to answer them.
A statement at Ask.com blog states :
We’ve officially launched the public beta for the new Ask.com, which combines our proprietary answers technology with the human insight of the thriving Ask.com community drawn from our 87 million monthly uniques. Now available on an invite-only basis, the capability to pose questions to real people is now possible for those complex, subjective and/or time-sensitive queries that, no matter how advanced, computers simply can’t address.
That means that Ask.com is now uniquely able to offer the most comprehensive and convenient approach to getting answers, combining pages and people to help users find the answers to all questions – even questions for which no answer is published online.
Why the re-energized focus on Q&A?
From a macro trend perspective, the explosion of the social Web underscores both the cultural shift and massive technical innovation of the last 15 years. Simply put: people are using the Web as a conversational medium, ergo, consumers are increasingly asking questions, as evidenced by demonstrated interest in Q&A from Google, Facebook and an entire cadre of start-ups.
From a product perspective, the new Ask.com is designed to fill some major holes left by search engines through a blend of technology and its users.