What's the Point of Social Media? Ask Facebook Questions

One question I get asked more often than one might think is why do people use social media? What’s the point? This question, as you might guess, usually comes from non-users, and part of my answer is illustrated by Facebook’s latest feature.

Last week, Facebook unveiled Facebook Questions, a new feature that allows users to ask the Facebook universe questions. The feature, which is available to a handful of users presently, will be available by clicking “Ask a Question” on the homepage.

Facebook Questions follows the social network's push for making things more public as questions can be seen by anyone and everyone, and while it mimics what other platforms out there are already doing (e.g., Yahoo! Answers), Facebook's 500 million users take Q&A to the mainstream.

Questions can include photos, polls and good-old-fashioned text and will be able to be categorized and “followed” for any updates or additional answers. Items that have been tagged show up in the feeds of your friends and their friends that share a related interest.

That's enough of an explanation of what Facebook Questions is. What's the big deal?

The Best Part About Facebook Questions: Access to the World’s People

Facebook Questions shows what makes social media a good thing—people connecting and gaining value from each other more often and much faster than ever before in human history.

Everyone is an expert in something, and social media allows people to become better because of each other, whether it’s because they learn something, gain a new perspective or simply have a good time.

Facebook’s latest feature allows for just that. People have the ability to pose questions and gain information from the collective knowledge of a huge universe.

What’s Valuable Survives.

The greatest thing about social media and Facebook Questions, specifically, is the ability to access everyone and gain from their collective work. With Facebook Questions, the most valuable answers survive because they are voted on, and the best rise to the top.

Wikipedia is another example of this. A community has come together to create a one-click-away-from-any-answer database that is regulated by that same community.

Yes, Facebook Questions will lead to a lot of well… crap. However, like Wikipedia, information is taken in from the masses and filtered by the community to create the best product possible.

It Makes Us Better.

To answer the question, what’s the point of social media? It makes us better. People can interact with each other and walk away better for it, and when someone walks away from something better than before, you can bet they’ll come back.

Now my question to you is, what value are you bringing consumers through social media to keep them coming back and interacting with you?