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Quora launches in Hindi; other Indian languages planned

Quora’s Hindi beta, which started in April, has given way to a full launch of the Hindi version of the platform. The Q&A platform plans to add more Indian languages to the mix soon. The Hindi platform will be separate from the English version of Quora, which is the case for all the other languages that Quora is available in. Quora doesn’t have any plans to place ads on the Hindi version just yet — Gautam Shewakramani, who leads Quora’s business in India, said, “We will at some point monetize, but we’ll do it after [we achieve] scale and quality.

Quora is a place for mature knowledgeable discourse,” Shewakramani said. “We don’t plan on changing our standards by language or by who the user is.”

Bilingual users

Right now, multilingual Quora users have to switch between languages to see questions and answers in other languages. This is unlike most social media platforms, where only the UI changes and content is in any language. “We feel that the type of content created in different languages is very different,” Shewakramani said. “The answer to the same question in Hindi and English will be different.” 

He said that India was the first country where most users are multilingual. The platform may try to work a solution out for bilingual users that doesn’t involve constantly switching between different languages, he indicated.

Part of the reason we ran an invite-only beta,” Shewakramani said, “is so that we get users who are already familiar with the moderation and quality standards” to set the norm for Hindi Quora. So far, the beta has seen a few thousand answers, with some questions submitted by Quora’s Indian community team.

The Indians-ruined-Quora problem?

When asked about North American and European users’ complaints about the flood of Indian users and Indian content, Shewakramani replied that this was a personalization issue. “If there is someone who doesn’t want to read content on Indian subjects, and it is surfaced to them anyway,” Shewakramani said, “that’s a personalization problem.” He said that Quora was investing heavily into personalization using machine learning and that it has gotten significantly better at showing users more relevant questions and answers.

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