Four and a half years since its founding, question-and-answer site Quora has released its long-overdue iPad app.
What took so long? It was a matter of juggling resources, says Marc Bodnick, who oversees product marketing, site governance, community, and business operations. "We have the bulk of our engineering resources focused on [quality control]," he tells Fast Company. "We've launched other features later than people wanted it because you have to make tough decisions about how to allocate resources."
In the recent past, the company also unveiled a redesign, refreshed its mobile apps, and introduced new features, including the ability to save posts for reading later and a Facebook-like algorithmic-driven feed that stacks new stories on top of old ones. In total, it took about six months to build the iPad app. "We thought it was going to be ready sooner, but we ended up deciding we wanted the design of the iPad app to be unified with our mobile apps and our desktop," adds Bodnick.
The iPad app features many of the same capabilities as the iPhone version released last fall, except the larger screen is more conducive for reading and writing longer posts. "This is the best platform for reading Quora," he says, "and it's got to be the best mobile writing platform that we offer because the rich-text editor and keyboard are so great." The company built a custom keyboard where the top row features editing controls and other shortcuts: bold, italics, header, block quote, bullets, numbered lists, horizontal rule, @mentions, and images.
As Quora continues to grows, it'll be even more important to control for quality--tactics include closely moderating activity, banning offenders, and avoiding or merging duplicate questions. So far into the year, the number of answers on its platform has tripled. Even if it didn't add any new users (figures of which continue to be tightly guarded), Quora expects to generate more answers in the next year than the company's history to date.