Quora, the question-and-answer site that convinced investors to part with a whopping $61 million, is notoriously unwilling to release any concrete data about its growth—preferring, instead to dole out vague vanity metrics. Maybe that's because its traffic is coming from outside the U.S.
According to the web traffic data company Alexa, Quora has seen a recent spike in growth. Now 33.3 percent of visitors hail from India, compared to 26.5 percent in the U.S. In terms of popular websites, Alexa also ranks Quora no. 88 in India, compared to no. 383 in the U.S. In comparison, Alexa says the majority of Facebook's visitors come from the U.S. (22.4 percent) with India coming in second at 7.8 percent. (Compete only measures traffic inside the U.S.; Quora has not implemented Quantcast.)
The analytics site App Annie says Quora's iPhone and iPad app is the 55th most popular social networking app in India, compared to no. 138 in the U.S. Although app-wise, Romania has both countries beat.
Finding users in emerging markets that will keep your questionable value proposition afloat is grand! Just ask Path, which proudly touted China as its second biggest user base this spring. (An inMobi survey from May found that Chinese consumers are more likely to make in-app purchases than Americans.)
But Quora, which calls itself “your best source of knowledge,” probably doesn’t want to end up the next Orkut—Google’s first attempt at a social network that's best known for its popularity in Brazil and India and lack of adoption in the U.S.
That concern is might be more pressing when Quora already has to fight the perception that it’s "singularly Valley-focused." Questions that make Silicon Valley sound like an alien species trying to understand bizarre Earth customs don't help.
Back in May, CEO Adam D'Angelo disputed that impression, telling TechCrunch:
“All of California is less than 10 percent of usage. New York City is the biggest city.”
I reached out to D'Angelo to verify the traffic trends on Alexa this morning and will update the post if I hear back. But this does explain some of the, um, discomfiting questions about Indians on his site.
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[Graph via Alexa Internet]