Ask.fm is a site dedicated entirely to questions and answers. Users can ask a question or submit answers. The site also allows users to post anonymously or with their name attached to their contribution. The answers can be either in text or video format. Users can check out other user profiles, which include the user’s interests and an area to submit a question directly to the specific user. The user profile also lists the number of answers the user has provided and how many likes they received by the Ask.fm community. Ask.fm is available in numerous languages, including German, English, Spanish, French, Italian, Norse, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and many more.
Ask.fm was founded in June of 2010 by Oskars Liepins, Ilja Terebin and Mark Terebin. The application was intended to act as a conversational question and answer tool. Ask.fm would encourage users to interact and hold discussions to help find answers to the user’s questions. The company is based out of Riga, Latvia and currently consists of less than 10 individuals, including CEOs Ilja and Mark Terebin.
The service offered by Ask.fm is not terribly unique. There are many other online resources that allow users to ask questions and get answers from the online community. What makes Ask.fm appealing for some is the focus on conversations. Users can ask one another questions and maintain profiles that reveal the user’s personal interests. This can also help some users locate experts in specific areas who might be good candidates to provide answers.
The Ask.fm website has a very low key design that features varying shades of blue with hints of lime green and white to balance things out. The homepage features the site’s logo, language option links and a list of who is currently online (revealed by the user’s avatar). When viewing a user profile, the visitor can see the user’s image, how many answers they provided and how many likes they received. Users can also view past responses and questions through the user profile. Regardless of which language option is chosen for the site, the user’s responses appear in their native language.
A new user can join the Ask.fm community by clicking the green “Join Now!” button found along the left hand side of the homepage inside the large, blue header. Clicking the button takes the user to the registration form, which appears down the left hand column on the following page. The right hand column includes three buttons that allow the user to register with an existing Facebook, Twitter or Vkontakte account. Those who prefer to create a separate account can fill out the form, which requires a username, full name, password, email address, preferred language and successful code entry (to prove that the user is human).
Ask.fm is a site that is completely reliant on its online community. Without users, the site would have no questions or answers (which is the whole purpose of the application). The creators priced Ask.fm just right to encourage user participation. Anyone can sign up and join in the discussion for free. There are no subscription fees or other charges for creating and maintaining an Ask.fm account.
Ask.fm offers an easy alternative to other question and answer websites. Some users may prefer the design and numerous language options over other similar sites. Anyone can ask questions and provide answers, making Ask.fm a resource for almost anybody.