If you have been an avid visitor of the popular questions and answers website Quora.com, you might have been met with answers to questions you can’t read anymore. It’s a bit weird since Quora used to be this place where you could share and read answers to popular questions with hundreds of thousands of readers around the world. It was a goldmine of information, much like Wikipedia. However, since late 2021, some of these popular and most detailed answers have been locked behind a Quora+ paywall. Does that mean that Quora is no longer free anymore? And what exactly do you get when you subscribe for a paid Quora Plus subscription? Let’s find out.
Quora is perhaps the most popular question-and-answer website that’s available on the world wide web today. It was launched all the way back in 2010 and has quickly overtaken its competitors such as Yahoo Answers in the number of users and page views. Everyone can ask questions about pretty much any topic and answer them however they like. Thanks to an upvote system, people can highlight the answers that are the most helpful. Quora is a million-dollar company with more than 300 million users every single month.
Is Quora no longer free? Why can’t I see all Quora answers anymore?
Since 2021, a Quora+ subscription has been available that costs 5 dollars (USD) a month or 50 dollars a year and allows people to read some answers that are locked behind a paywall. These currencies will be adjusted depending on your location. This Quora+ membership allows you to view every single answer and/or blog post made on the platform, and will also disable ads completely on the website. The creators have to enable their content to be put up for Quora+ (or essentially, paywalled) to make them only readable to paid subscribers.
Why did Quora start Quora Plus and why are some parts paid now?
Basically, the team behind Quora wanted to make sure that some of its creators had a financial incentive to post meaningful and diligent answers on the website.
We want to make sharing knowledge more financially sustainable for creators, which will in turn let them share more knowledge with the world. This is important to our mission, since even though many people are motivated and able to spend their time writing on Quora just to share their knowledge, many others could share much more with financial justification to do so.
In a way, this paid subscription is very similar to that of Medium, which also costs 4.99/month. The difference here is that users pay this amount directly to Quora, who will then determine a fair split based on reading time to the creators who put their content behind the Quora+ paywall.
Can I still access Quora for free and see answers?
The short answer is yes, but it may be a whole lot more limited than before. The Quora CEO reveals in his blog post that they expect “the majority of Quora’s content to remain free”. The website itself won’t be blocked for non-paid users and you can still ask questions and answer them all you want – that won’t change. You’ll probably see most answers, but not all. Quora will also employ machine learning technology to determine which content can be seen by free users – this will depend on your behavior as well. In short, if Quora believes that putting content behind a paywall will encourage someone to get a subscription, they will do so.
In 2022, Quora also decided that every Quora+ subscriber will have a special badge on their profile, showing to the rest of the world that they’re a paying member. It’s pure bragging rights, of course, and the main point of Quora+ is that you can browse completely ad-free and view all of the answers.
Is Quora profitable and what is its business model?
With over 300 million monthly users, the Quora website receives a massive amount of revenue thanks to display advertising. This is something that Wikipedia doesn’t have, for example, since it’s their strong opinion that ads don’t belong on an online encyclopedia. Quora doesn’t have that problem, and the wording in their latest blog suggests that the company is on track to become profitable due to ads alone.
Historically, advertising provided all of Quora’s revenue. This revenue funded the development and operations of the platform, and we are on track to be cash flow positive from ads alone, but in most cases the economics of the ad market mean that this revenue is not enough to meaningfully support creators.
So if you’re wondering why there’s now a Quora+ subscription, the answer is also quite simple: money. With Quora Plus, the company now has an additional revenue stream on top of the display ads that will make sure the company is financially healthy and sustainable.
Can you earn money by posting on Quora?
Yes! The Quora+ model might be annoying for readers, but it’s definitely a plus (pun not intended) for all the content creators on there. If you spend a lot of time answering questions in a thoughtful, detailed manner, it might be worthwhile to enable your answers to be put behind the Quora+ paywall. How much money can you earn by posting on Quora, you might ask? According to Quora-commenters who have first-hand experience, it’s about half a dollar per thousand views. Not bad if you have an answer that goes viral!
Since 2021, Quora is not completely free anymore. While you can still access the majority of answers and blogposts on the website, some more detailed answers are now locked behind the $5/month Quora+ subscription. This may be annoying to some readers, but the Quora+ subscription also gets rid of ads and indirectly supports the content creators on the website.