Yahoo Launches Live Q&A Service

Yahoo on Thursday rolled out a beta of a new service intended to complement its search offerings by enabling users to ask questions and receive answers from actual people on a variety of topics.

The company said that once questions are answered, they would be archived and searchable. Users will also be able to subscribe to the RSS feed of a topic in order to receive continuous updates on the latest questions and answers.

Called Yahoo! Answers, Yahoo believes that the new feature will help extend its search offering and provide answers for queries that may not be as easily found using traditional keyword searches.

Users will also rate the answers to each question, forming a rating system for the reputation of those who answer the questions of others. Over time, Yahoo says, users with higher ratings would become "trusted sources" of information on that particular topic.

"With the largest base of Web users, Yahoo! is in a unique position to tap into the vast knowledge and opinions of individuals to benefit the greater group," Yahoo Search's engineering director Ofer Shaked said. "Yahoo! Answers lets consumers get their questions answered in a personalized way and share their knowledge with other Web users."

The service will be available from starting Thursday.

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