Home Formspring Wants To Keep You Interested – Will It Succeed?

Formspring Wants To Keep You Interested – Will It Succeed?

Today Q&A social network Formspring adds interest categories for music, humor, fashion and beauty, celebrity gossip, sports and video games in order to help its 27 million users request types of questions they would like to receive. It is simultaneously launching a media partnership with MTV, Hearst (Seventeen Magazine), Funny or Die and The Huffington Post, which will make it easier for those brands to locate and target its fans in a way that’s more personalized than Facebook fan pages. With this new marriage of questions and big brands, Formspring pushes the already-fine line between social networking and advertising.

Formspring was founded in November 2009 by Ade Olonoh, and was named one of the fastest growing Internet sites in 2010. It grew to 27 million users in just two years. Its user base is comprised of three main groups: 13-17-year-olds (44%), 18-35 year olds (47%) and 35-and-up (9%).

Formspring claims it’s a site that makes getting to know people feel more natural, whereas Facebook is focused on posting updates about what users are doing, listening to, reading or watching.

Formspring COO Ro Choo says, “Thirty-seven percent of users respond to questions every month, whereas a typical Q&A site will do 1-2% per year. The focus of the site is around conversation and response.”

Conversation and response? That’s one of the main purposes of Facebook.

So what about these new interest categories and media partnerships make Formspring different from Facebook? Seventeen Magazine has a Facebook fan page where they do just that – ask questions and get responses from users.

The main difference here is that on a Facebook fan page, a question is syndicated to a fan page, whereas on Formspring it’s syndicated specifically to your friends. This essentially bypasses the entire fan page dilemma, removing the barrier between brand and user.

In September, Formspring added a photo-sharing element to its then-new iOS app, making question-asking more visually oriented.

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