Ask.fm

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Ask.fm
Ask.fm Logo.png
Founded June 16, 2010
Headquarters Riga, Latvia
Area served Worldwide
Key people Ilja Terebin, Ali Baig, Ahmad Sadek, Ali Ataya, Farouk Tannir (CEO)
Industry Internet
Slogan(s) Ask and answer
Website ask.fm
Alexa rank Decrease 143 (June 2013)[1]
Type of site Social Q&A website
Advertising Yes
Registration Optional, required to post responses
Users 112 million (April 27, 2014)[2][3][4]
Available in Arabic, Bosnian, Dutch, Czech, German, English, Estonian, Spanish, Filipino, Finnish, French, Croatian, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Hungarian, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Portuguese (Brazil), Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Swedish, Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian, Skopjan, Russian, Serbian, Ukrainian, Georgian, Indonesian, Mongolia ,Chinese, Japanese (June 2013)[5]
Launched June 16, 2010
Current status Active

Ask.fm is a social networking website based in Riga, Latvia, where users can ask other users questions, with the option of anonymity. The site launched on June 16, 2010, as a rival to the now-defunct Spring.me (then known as "Formspring"),[3] which it eventually overtook in terms of traffic.[1][6]

History[edit]

Ask.fm was created in June 16, 2010 by Ali Baig.[7] The service rapidly gained worldwide popularity.

User growth[edit]

The company experienced rapid growth. It had 5 million registered users in April 2012.[8] This grew to 10 million users in July 2012, who were making 15 million new answers[disambiguation needed] per day.[8] At this point Ask.fm claimed to have overtaken Formspring with 37 million monthly unique visitors versus Formspring’s 20 million monthly unique visitors.[9] In October 2012, Ask.fm reached 20 million registered users.[8] By April 2013, the company recorded over 50 million registered users.[8] As of August 2013, number of registered users soared to 70 million.[8] More than 30 million questions and answers were created daily.[10]

Features[edit]

In April 2011 video answer feature was introduced on Ask.fm, enabling users to record video using a webcam and post an answer to the question. In May 2011 Ask.fm introduced a new feature, providing users with an opportunity to tag other users by putting @ symbol followed by the username. In December 2011 the privacy settings, including the function to disable anonymous questions were introduced. Later that month, Popular! feature was added, allowing users to discover new interesting people to follow. In June 2013 both iPhone and Android applications were released.

Controversy[edit]

Cyberbullying[edit]

Between 2012 and 2014, the site became associated with numerous instances of cyberbullying, some of which led to suicides, particularly in teens.[11][12] Several advertisers, most notably The Sun newspaper, BT, and Specsavers responded by severing links with the site.[13]

In response, however, Ask.fm has partnered with organizations including the UK's Internet Watch Foundation and INSAFE, a European network of national Safer Internet Centres.[14] The website also has a "Safety Center" that outlines resources like "FAQs for Parents",[15] "Abuse Policy",[16] "Safety and Security Essentials",[17] and "Dos and Don'ts".[18]

Terrorism[edit]

Following the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)'s June 2014 offensive in northern Iraq, media outlets like The Daily Mail noted that "extremists already in the countries are using media such as Twitter and the anonymous question and answer website ask.fm to pass on information about visas, travel money, and how to avoid rousing suspicion and evade security".[19] It reported that Ask.fm was an appealing platform because "a users' account details and location are easily concealed" and "it is highly unlikely those he interacts with will ever be identified".[20]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Ask.fm Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2013-08-20. 
  2. ^ Steve O'Hear (2013-07-04). "Personal Q&A Site Ask.fm Is Growing At A Clip Amid Media Backlash Over Safety Of Its Young Users". Retrieved 2013-07-15. 
  3. ^ a b Kenins, Laura (14 November 2012). "Latvian Web site at center of cyber-bullying inquiry". The Baltic Times (Riga). Baltic News Ltd. 
  4. ^ Jennifer Van Grove (2013-06-08). "Ask.fm, the troubling secret playground of tweens and teens". CNET. Retrieved 2013-06-13. 
  5. ^ "Ask.fm Languages". Retrieved 2013-07-12. 
  6. ^ "Formspring.me Site Info on Alexa". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2012-08-02. 
  7. ^ http://spoki.tvnet.lv/aktuali/Fakti-par-askfm/567557
  8. ^ a b c d e https://twitter.com/ask_fm
  9. ^ http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/27/ask-fm-claims-its-overtaken-qa-giant-formspring-whats-going-on-here/
  10. ^ http://www.arcticstartup.com/2013/05/13/ask-fm-responds-to-cyberbullying-allegations
  11. ^ "The Annual chutney Cyberbullying Survey 2013". Ditch the Label. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  12. ^ Beckford, Martin (13 January 2013). "Pupils and parents warned social networking website linked to teen abuse". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  13. ^ "Ask.fm advertisers to quit site in cyberbullying row". BBC News. 2013-08-08. 
  14. ^ "Safety Center: Our Partners". Ask.fm. 
  15. ^ "Safety Center: FAQs for Parents". Ask.fm. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  16. ^ "Safety Center: Abuse Policy". Ask.fm. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  17. ^ "Safety & Security Essentials". Ask.fm. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  18. ^ "Dos and Don'ts". Ask.fm. Retrieved 19 June 2014. 
  19. ^ Harris, Dominic (19 June 2014). "Iraq crisis: 'Up to 450' British fighters have joined Isis militants and are planning UK attack, spies say". The Independent. 
  20. ^ Hall, John (18 June 2014). "'U dnt need much, u get wages here, u get food provided and place to stay': The rough travel guide British ISIS fighters are using to lure fellow Britons in to waging Jihad in Iraq". DailyMail. 

External links[edit]