Venture Beat reports that search engine Ask.com has acquired popular question and answer service Ask.fm. The purchased was made for an undisclosed sum.
Ask.com is a unique Q&A search engine that specializes in providing answers to questions asked in a natural way. This acquisition is an indication of Ask.com’s willingness to embrace social media as part of its business.
If you’re not familiar with Ask.fm, it’s akin to other Q&A sites like Quora where people ask questions and other users on the site provide an answer. Ask.fm says it’s home to 180 million monthly active users, the majority of which access the service on a mobile device.
Ask.fm was the subject of much criticism several years ago after it became associated with a string of teen suicides. Being aware of this, Ask.com worked into the terms of the deal a set of best practices for Ask.fm aimed at thwarting cyberbullying. Ask.com is even created an entirely new position within the company of chief safety officer.
That’s not to say Ask.fm has been ignoring the cyberbullying issue thus far. In fact, a number of Ask.fm’s employees act as moderators who watch out for instances of cyberbullying and potentially dangerous conversations. It sounds like Ask.com is just improving on what was already in place.
The company said Ask.fm’s founders and leadership team will no longer be a part of the company after the sale. No further details were provided.