Quora finally endorses an iPhone app as the social media world awaits an official version

Facing competition from Facebook’s Questions feature, question-and-answer social networking site Quora put its support behind a recently launched albeit unofficial iPhone app. The app, known as Social Questions, allows users to access and browse the Quora mobile site as well the profile home page, inbox and notifications. Developer Thomas Ricouard claims he was given permission by the company to release the app, but it raises questions as to why the company has taken so long to put its log in the mobile app fire.

The site also hired an iOS developer in January, meaning official iPhone and iPad apps may not be far in off. Still, the company has been around since 2009 and its interactive format is highly suited for a mobile app. The company has raised $11 million in venture funding to date, so it’s safe to say this is in the budget.

Perhaps Quora finally felt the heat from its Palo Alto neighbor Facebook as the site launched its Questions feature, which allows users to poll their friends with all types of questions. The feature is very similar to Quora, although Quora has the advantage of drawing from a broader answering base than offered through one’s Facebook friends – unless someone is operating with a friends network the size of Lady Gaga’s or President Obama’s.  Facebook Questions also lacks the ranking feature that orders Quora responses, making everyone’s “expertise” on a given subject appear equal (when it probably isn’t).

Because Quora first focused on developing a mobile site, making the site more functional than most on the smartphone, the company may not have seen the initial importance of its own iPhone or iPad app. But now with mainstream sites such as Facebook encroaching its territory, Quora has likely decided that it is time for the startup site responsible for starting the social media Q&A fire to throw its own official apps in the pit.

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