Against what could be considered great odds, Yahoo Answers has reached a pretty stunning milestone: 300 million questions have been asked since the service launched in 2005.
But despite that figure, activity on Yahoo Answers is on the decline.
The company’s announcement today includes these additional statistics:
On average, 2 questions are being asked and 6 answered per second. So this means there’s an astonishing 7,000 questions and an incredible 21,000 answers per hour.
That’s a total of 28,000 questions and answers being posted every hour.
But about two years ago, when Yahoo Answers announced that it had a combination of more than a billion questions and answers, the company said it was seeing more than 34,000 questions and answers per hour.
That’s a decline in the neighborhood of 17 to 18 percent.
Yahoo Answers has, for years, been considered the largest answer search engine on the web — and despite that decline, it almost certainly still is. But it’s difficult to compare apples to apples if you include sites like ChaCha, which includes voice-generated questions requesting phone numbers among its Q&A database, or Ask.com, which remains something of a hybrid between a Q&A site and a search engine.
Still, Yahoo Answers outlasted Google Answers, which closed its doors less than a year after Yahoo Answers launched. Facebook Questions launched about two years ago, but that doesn’t appear to have taken off like some expected it would.
Quora has become a Q&A darling over the past year or so, and certainly has a lot of momentum in its favor. The company hasn’t indicated how many questions it has, but users have tried figuring it out themselves, using a “QID” code that’s visible in the site’s code. If that’s an accurate way to count questions, my quick digging suggests that the site has a little more than 700,000 questions at the moment.
Earlier this year, former Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson promised to shut down up to 50 Yahoo properties. No one knows if current CEO Ross Levinsohn will follow through on that, but for now, Yahoo Answers keeps beating the odds and chugging along … albeit a little more slowly than it did a couple years ago.