SOURCE: ChaCha

ChaCha

December 06, 2010 10:12 ET

ChaCha Answers One Billionth Question

Leading People-Powered Answers Service Hits Major Milestone in Just Two Years, as Traffic Builds to Three Million Questions Daily

INDIANAPOLIS, IN--(Marketwire - December 6, 2010) - ChaCha, the #1 free, real-time answers service, today announced that it has answered the billionth question submitted by its rapidly growing user base of 25 million online and mobile users. The record-breaking question was "How do you say friend in Elvish according to the Lord of the Rings?" to which ChaCha responded, "'Mellon' is the Elvish word for 'friend' in Lord of the Rings. ChaCha!" The Company is in the process of notifying the winner, who is a fourteen year old boy from Northern Minnesota, who will be awarded an iPad, an iPod Touch, and a $100 iTunes gift certificate to celebrate this historic ChaCha landmark. 

"Nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population is now part of the ChaCha community, accessing our free answers service via online, mobile apps, mobile web, and mobile texting," says Scott Jones, ChaCha's CEO. "This has attracted an A-List of marketers and brands who recognize that finding relevant answers trumps traditional search, especially in a mobile context. Consequently, our revenue is growing even faster than our user base. This one-billionth answer is a milestone in our model and mission."

Mr. Jones credits ChaCha's rapid growth to the use of human intelligence to provide dramatically better results to users' searches and questions. The human intelligence is provided by the 62,000 people known as "Guides" who personally respond to user questions and provide fast, accurate and free answers, as opposed to a laundry list of links that may or may not be relevant to the user's question. The Guide's research is then remembered by the ChaCha system so that answers can be re-served when similar questions are asked in the future. In this process, ChaCha has built the largest Q&A database on the planet, surpassing other major players by an order of magnitude. The ChaCha magic lies in the company's ability to add that human touch, which makes the service like a "smart friend" to its millions of users.

Two ChaCha guides, who handled the answer for the billionth questions, Spencer and Kenny, were rewarded with the same package of Apple gifts as the person who asked the question.

This was a big week for setting records at ChaCha. The company hit a record of nearly one million unique visitors to ChaCha.com in a single day and hit a record of two million SMS mobile questions in a single day. ChaCha.com is the fastest-growing website in the Top 100 as measured by comScore and Quantcast, recently surging past companies such as MTV, NYTimes, TMZ, Zynga, and Yelp.

ChaCha users tend to be online users spanning a broader demographic of ages 18 to 49, with mobile users skewing to the younger end of the spectrum. Over the past year of questions, some interesting patterns have emerged. By far, the most questions submitted to ChaCha are in the Entertainment category. The next largest number of queries are in the Fact-Checking category, such as word definitions, translations, and yellow pages information. Interestingly, questions about ChaCha itself are next in line, such as "Can I ChaCha from my social network?" Next are questions in the Society & Culture category involving education, family, relationships, dating tips, historical figures, mythology, and religion. Health related queries follow these categories. ChaCha.com's homepage shows a scrolling record of questions currently being asked, most popular ChaCha questions, and trending hot topics as they emerge. 

"It's fun to look back and remember when we first launched ChaCha at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah," added Mr. Jones. "On our first day there, we helped 1800 film lovers with their 13,000 questions about new films. Today, we answer more than 3 million questions per day from 600,000 unique users. Our community turns to us like a 'smart-friend' on every topic, which has created this exciting viral, organic growth." 

ChaCha (www.chacha.com) is the leading free, real-time answers service and has emerged as the #1 way for advertisers to engage with the audience of their choice. Through its unique "ask-a-smart-friend" platform, ChaCha has answered one billion questions since launch from more than 25 million unique users per month via online (www.chacha.com), SMS text (242-242™), Twitter (@chacha), Facebook app, iPhone app, Android app, and voice (1-800-2-ChaCha™). Working with major brands such as Paramount, AT&T, Palm, Johnson & Johnson, P&G, Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and Sonic, ChaCha.com is one of the fastest growing mobile publishers according to Nielsen and is ranked in the Top 100 websites according to comScore and Quantcast. 

ChaCha was co-founded by proven innovator and entrepreneur Scott Jones and is funded by VantagePoint Venture Partners; Rho Ventures; Bezos Expeditions; Morton Meyerson, former President and Vice Chairman of EDS as well as Chairman and CEO of Perot Systems; Rod Canion, founding CEO of Compaq Computer; the Simon family; and Jack Gill, Silicon Valley venture capitalist.

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