LinkedIn will pull the plug on LinkedIn Answers, its Quora-like Q&A service, on Jan. 31.
The company sent an email to LinkedIn users on Thursday explaining the move. A LinkedIn rep sent the following statement:
“As of Jan. 31, LinkedIn Answers will be retired from LinkedIn. We will be focusing our efforts on the development of new and more engaging ways to share and discuss professional topics across LinkedIn. In the meantime, members can still pose questions and facilitate professional discussions through other popular LinkedIn channels including LinkedIn Polls, Groups, or status update.”
The apparent reason for the move: It was driving fairly limited engagement.
The company introduced LinkedIn Answers in 2007. The product let you post a question to your network (including second-level connections) and let other LinkedIn users provide answers. Questioners could rank the best answers and the person who provided the best answers would carry more weight for future Answers.
Amy Vernon, gm for SocialMarketing for Internet Media Labs, wrote in a blog entry that she’s going to miss the product: “Maybe not everyone who uses LinkedIn uses the section. The people who do use it, however, find great value, and there are many. When I answered a question there after I was laid off from my newspaper job a few years ago, that led to one of my first consulting gigs, which in turn led me to the path I walk now. So, sure, part of it is likely sentimental. I can be like that sometimes.”
The move comes after Facebook announced last October that it was shutting down its Questions product. Like LinkedIn Answers, Facebook Questions never managed to replace Quora, which had around 1.5 million monthly visitors as of last July.
Todd Wasserman, Mashable marketing editor & Scrabble enthusiast