ChaCha has announced that its Q&A engine has reached several milestones — the most notable perhaps being that the Q&A engine answered its billionth question.
The question, which I believe can be seen here, was asked on Saturday by a 14-year-old Minnesota boy, and answered by Kenny and Spencer, two ChaCha guides:
Q: How do you say friend in Elvish according to the Lord of the Rings?
A: Mellon is the Elvish word for ‘friend’ in ‘Lord of the Rings. ChaCha!
Ironically, the guide cites this question/answer on WikiAnswers — a ChaCha competitor — as the source of his reply.
ChaCha says this billionth question was just one of several milestones the company has reached recently:
- Traffic is at three million questions per day
- Overall user base — online and mobile — is 25 million
- 62,000 guides are answering questions
- The ChaCha.com website had a record of nearly one million unique visitors on a single day
- It set another record with two million questions asked via mobile/SMS in a single day
ChaCha’s announcement says all this has happened in the space of two years, so I presume the company is using its January 2008 launch as a mobile text answering service as the start date (which would actually be closer to three years ago than two), not its September 2006 debut as a human-assisted search engine.
You may be wondering how ChaCha’s milestones compare to other Q&A engines, namely Yahoo Answers. It’s not really a fair comparison, but if you want to know, Yahoo Answers announced that it had reached a billion questions back in October 2009, a little more than four years after its launch. And then last December, Yahoo announced that Answers had hit 200 million visitors worldwide.
I say the comparison isn’t fair because ChaCha and Yahoo Answers are largely trying to be different things to different users. Where Yahoo Answers has grown as a desktop-based site, ChaCha is much more geared toward mobile usage and the type of questions that go along with it. Yahoo Answers users generally don’t use the site to ask questions about local phone numbers, for example, but those questions can be quite common on ChaCha. It might be an overstatement to say ChaCha and Yahoo Answers are apples and oranges, but they definitely have very different user bases and use cases.