Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Formspring Hits 25M Accounts and 40M Uniques

Formspring, the Q&A site, has hit a few milestones lately, according to its internal data. The company now has 25 million accounts and 40 million unique visitors per month.

Further, the company says those users are highly engaged: 30 percent of its daily visitors ask or respond to a question. Links included in questions get a 5 to 10 percent click-through rate.

These kind of traffic numbers — which, by the way, are dramatically different from public measures of by services like Compete and Quantcast — are paving the way for a Formspring business model of sponsored and branded accounts.

(Formspring said it couldn’t account for the measurement discrepancies, but that it gathers its data from Google Analytics.)

As a preliminary step on the monetization front, Formspring recently added verified accounts for some 50 celebrities (see Wilmer Valderrama’s page above). To aid that effort, the company launched a couple key features: follower counts and a function for celebrities to ask followers questions and then have each user’s answers distributed to their friends (kind of like how Facebook comments works, where comments left on blogs show up in the commenters’ Facebook news feeds).

Formspring’s new COO Ro Choy describes his company’s audience demographic as “13-25 and hyperactive.”

Choy said Formspring wants to “move from a perception as a Q&A site to a social network that’s active.” He said Formspring offers celebrities and brands more control than they’d get on other social networks like Facebook, because by design users approve each question and answer it before posting it on their pages.

Formspring is also announcing today that former Google and Polyvore executive Sukhinder Singh Cassidy is joining its board.

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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik