Whether you want to know symptoms of coronavirus or the best shows to binge on Netflix, a pandemic is a time of great uncertainty. You might think that means people are visiting question-and-answer sites like Quora more often, but the opposite seems to be true — despite having a page dedicated to coronavirus questions, the startup’s data shows it hit a plateau in nearly every social metric.
While Quora boasts 300 million unique visitors per month, it isn’t quite built to retain those visitors in the way a site like their competitor Reddit is, with its endless variety of user-run communities. While Quora has its page to funnel COVID-19 questions, multiple subreddits have sprouted up for sharing questions, concerns and news about the pandemic. While it’s true that information isn’t exactly reliable, users are still going there over Quora to read about the pandemic.
Quora’s Facebook Talking About count nosedived since its all-time peak back in 2018 from 67.8k to just over 4k by the end of that year — a 94 percent decrease. Further, Quora’s likes have all but come to a standstill. So far this year, likes have stalled out at the 926k mark, where it’s been sitting since the new year.
Quora has enjoyed a steady growth on Twitter for some time, attracting 26k new followers in 2019, but we’re starting to see the curve flatten a bit. It’s added 6k followers since the new year as compared to 10k for the same time period last year.
The slowdown on Twitter isn’t as dramatic as on Facebook, sure, but it looks a lot uglier when you compare Quora’s 262k followers to Reddit’s 706k following (not shown).
As of May 5, there are only two open positions on Quora’s careers page, and postings have declined since even before the pandemic - which coincides with the pre-Coronavirus round of layoffs the company completed.
Like a rest stop on the interstate, Quora seems to be a place you end up out of necessity more than somewhere you intend to go often - unfortunately, Reddit appears to have claimed that crown, if at least for now. If Quora's social presence continues to flatten out or even curve downwards during a time where more and more people are flocking online, it may have a hard time convincing future investors it is worth its unicorn valuation.
About the Data:
Thinknum tracks companies using the information they post online - jobs, social and web traffic, product sales, and app ratings - and creates data sets that measure factors like hiring, revenue, and foot traffic. Data sets may not be fully comprehensive (they only account for what is available on the web), but they can be used to gauge performance factors like staffing and sales.