While Quora has been around for almost seven years, it’s been a little slow when it comes to monetization through advertising.
The question-and-answer site first launched ads last year in April 2016, but since then it’s only existed in closed beta to pre-approved advertising partners like Mulesoft and Shopify.
The startup just announced that it’s opening its self-serve ad platform to the public, just over a month after it reached unicorn status by raising $85M at a valuation around $1.8 billion.
Advertisers both large and small will be able to create text-based ads and mobile app install ads – both of which look particularly native and nonintrusive.
In terms of targeting, advertisers can use topic targeting (which is how Quora categorizes its Q&As) to advertise within specific topics like Science, Politics or Cryptocurrencies. You can also target by geography and platform (like desktop or mobile).
While this pales in comparison to the seemingly unlimited targeting options that Facebook gives advertisers, targeting by topic, location and platform is pretty standard for sites that don’t collect a lot of information about users.
Once advertisers target an ad, they can choose a budget which is used in a CPC (cost per click) real-time auction model. Advertisers set their CPC bid and then adjust it based on performance. Quora will also offer a conversion pixel and work with mobile attribution partners to show advertisers evidence of performance and ROI.
Rolling out a self-serve ad platform is a big day in the life of any startup that plans on monetizing via advertising. It means that they no longer have to dedicate manpower to manually sell and target ads, and advertising revenue can start to grow on its own. It’s also a necessary step to getting advertising dollars from smaller businesses, which in aggregate can actually be a meaningful impact on the bottom line.
For reference, Snapchat launched its self-serve ad platform earlier this month, and was founded about five and a half years ago.
Self-serve ads on Quora launch today, and you can check them out here.
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