Online knowledge sharing firm Quora today said its platform will now also be available in Hindi, a move that will allow about 500 million speakers of the language to engage on the platform in Hindi. Launched in English in 2010, the question-and-answer platform already supports languages like Spanish, French, German, Italian and Japanese. The platform gets over 200 million unique monthly visitors. Quora was founded in 2009 by Adam D’Angelo, former CTO of social networking giant Facebook.
About half of Quora’s user base is from outside the US, including from India. “Quora’s mission is to share and grow the world’s knowledge. The platform has been been popular in India for years now and with the addition of Hindi language, we expect the participation from India to grow further,” Quora India Country Manager Gautam Shewakramani told reporters here. He added that an estimated 500 million people speak Hindi and many of them may prefer to use the language on Quora’s platform. Shewakramani said the company would look at introducing other Indian languages on its platform as well but declined to comment on a timeline.
Quora, which allows users to ask questions and seek responses from other users on a variety of subjects, generates revenues through ads — a model adopted by many social platforms as well. In April 2017, Quora raised a fourth round of funding of USD 85 million. Its investors include Benchmark, Tiger Global Management and Matrix Partners, among others. According to a Google-KPMG report, an estimated 536 million Indians are expected to use regional languages while online by 2021, complemented by increasing affordability of devices and data charges and availability of more local content.
The report estimates that Hindi Internet users (at 201 million) will outnumber those accessing the web in English at 199 million by 2021. In 2016, the total number of Internet users who accessed Internet in Indian languages and English stood at 234 million and 175 million, respectively. Quora had launched a beta version in Hindi to a small group of people on an invite-only basis in April. User can access Quora in Hindi through browsers as well as the mobile app. Shewakramani said the company is working on introducing local innovations that cater to local audiences and cited the example of SMS-based notifications (instead of e-mails) being made available for Quora Hindi users.
The company has seen users like former US President Barack Obama, Flipkart co-founder Sachin Bansal and Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales answer questions asked by users on the platform. Asked about content moderation, Shewakramani said the company has a three-pronged strategy — using machine learning to detect some of the bad content, users who flag such content and a team of moderators who step in.
“We have a ‘Be Nice, Be Respectful’ policy that requires a minimum level of civility when using Quora. We use technology — machine learning, natural language processing, and pattern-matching — to detect and remove things that impact user experience like spam, plagiarism, and trolling,” he explained.