Ask.com has launched a public beta of its question-and-answer model, technology news website Cnet reported on Monday.
Writing on the company blog, Ask.com’s senior vice president of product Tony Gentile and senior vice president of technology Lisa Kavanaugh wrote: “Now available on an invite-only basis... the capability to pose questions to real people is now possible for those complex, subjective and/or time-sensitive queries that, no matter how advanced, computers simply can't address.”
Kavanaugh added that users can get an invite by submitting a request at the site.
Ask.com, which was the first proponent of the Q&A model, has returned to its roots to compete with major search platforms such as Yahoo and Mahalo, which are beginning to allow users to post queries on community forums.
Rival Google acquired social search provider Aardvark in February, giving the search giant access to technology that allows it to search users' profiles and match their queries with their interests. Social network Facebook is running trials on its soon-to-be-released ‘Facebook Questions’ feature.