The need for quick answers to specific questions has already led to the emergence of vertical search services like Quora and Answers.com. It’s partly because Google search often relates a question to zillions of possible answers, which is painful for most seekers to sort out by simplicity and credibility. Another reason is because some answers should be given in certain contexts and syntaxes for specific uses.
For example, an average elementary or intermediary education student would prefer to see an answer to a homework question, given in a curriculum-based format and language. Apparently that’s where Brainly, a social learning site, finds its raison d’être, and astonishing growth of more than double in just a year’s time.
Following a successful beta launch and $500,000 funding from Point 9 Capital in 2012, Poland-based company had immediately embarked on its expansion campaign, introducing additional languages via its community based local websites. This strategy proved right, with the unique user count growing more than double, from 10 million in January 2013 to over 22 million today. Growth trend will likely to continue for a while as the company has just launched its English version as well as mobile apps for iOS and Android in several other languages (see the infograph below).
Annual growth by the end of 2013 has been tremendous especially in Spain, Turkey and Russia, with 321%, 189% and 163% respectively. Though almost half of the userbase is still in Russia, addition of 12 languages (read, communities) will likely change the pattern soon. Brainly CEO Michał Borkowski says they have ambitious plans to boost global growth in 2014 and see students from all over the world benefiting from the educational peer support system.
“Of great significance is how well the websites are developing on some of those markets” says Jakub Piwnik, the manager in charge of English edition. He particularly cites Romania with more than 10k users registered shortly after launch, and Indonesia with 1k registrations per day in the last few days. The next step will be the launch on the next markets, but at the moment (Q1 and Q2 2014) Brainly’s main focus is building userbase on the existing versions, Piwnik told Webrazzi.
Brainly is a platform of multiple social learning networks based on peer support. Registered users (that is, students) help each other by solving subject specific problems and exchanging knowledge. It’s a point-based crowdsourcing system that engages the users by ‘paying’ points to the providers of correct answers. Users earn points by solving other people’s problems and can use these points to ask questions themselves. The points are, of course, free. And the answers are continuously moderated and supervised by hundreds of competent students, teachers, parents, professors, specialists in each community.