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Barack Obama Gives Quora A Presidential Push

If his Reddit AMA was any indicator, Quora’s first verified public figure should certainly improve the credibility of the quietly growing topic-driven Q&A platform.

President Barack Obama is joining Quora this morning to answer questions about the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. March 31 is the last day to sign up for a healthcare plan without incurring a fine.

Unlike President Obama’s Reddit AMA, his Quora Q&A won’t be live. Obama plans to use Quora like any other user—answering existing questions that relate to healthcare, a popular topic on the site, while Quora aggregates his answers on his profile for all users to see, which are also tagged across the site under the existing topics. 

Verified profiles on Quora will look similar to Facebook and Twitter. They will have a blue verified checkmark on the user’s profile, and Quora will choose public figures— including celebrities, government officials and industry leaders—based on a variety of indicators that the site has not made public. Actor Ashton Kutcher, NBA player Jeremy Lin, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg are just a few pubic figures who will also have verified profiles on Quora.  

Over the past few months, celebrities and public figures have taken to Quora to answer questions from the curious public—actor Ethan Hawke’s discussion of Macbeth was a notable standout—but verifying public figures will be more step towards legitimacy for Quora. 

“The engagement public figures have on Quora is very different [than Facebook or Twitter],” said Alex Wu, head of product marketing and partnerships. “The engagement public figures have on Quora is very different. The content on Quora isn’t perishable, a tweet or photo might last a day, but on Quora, people discover and rediscover content.”

Quora was founded in 2010 by early Facebook employees Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever. The site features information on over 500,000 topics, although the site remains tight-lipped about its number of registered users. 

Image courtesy BeckyF on Flickr.

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