Search engines have dominated the internet for many years, providing instant feedback for queries in the form of documents, articles, or other uploaded content. Some search engines like Yahoo are able to answer questions in a forum format, allowing users to post questions, and allowing other users to respond. But a new wave of search engines has been struggling to get off the ground, and those are the search engines that are not powered by formulas or algorithms, but actual people. iDrive, who is primarily known for storage and backup services, has now launched a mobile application called OOLOO to use a staff of real people to answer user questions.
As early as 2007 human powered search engines have been struggling to find traction in the market. Jason Calcanis made a valiant effort with his search engine Mahalo, which blended the concept of human interaction along with internet generated content for the answers. But the company has since made a major shift from search engine to mobile news application, a decidedly more established and steady market. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone attempted the same feat by creating Jelly, which essentially functioned as a glorified form of Yahoo Answers. But the problem lies not only within the company’s ability to give quality answers, quickly, and from an authentic human mouthpiece, but they must find a way to make this more enticing than searching Google, which populates thousands of results perqueries in a manner of seconds, not minutes.
OOLOO could face a similar problem, as it does take a minute or two for an employee to respond. The time in which it takes to get a response changes depending on the load of queries that the application receives as well, so you aren’t quite sure how long it will take to get an answer. However, the application sends you a push notification to let you know that your answer is available, which is helpful, and they also provide alternate links to read more about the subject inquestion.
Matthew Harvey, at iDrive says that the application is a response to applications like Siri which allow users to ask queries with their voice.
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