Brainly Aims to Bring Social Learning to U.S.
Where does embryo development take place in oviparous animals?
Why did the slogan “peace, land, and bread” appeal to the Russian people?
What is a positive example of cultural diffusion?
Okay, I’m stumped. And, for many students, finding answers to homework questions online has meant sifting through sarcastic responses and massive spam on sites such as Yahoo Answers.
Brainly, the Poland-based crowd-sourcing social learning website, thinks it can change that by breaking into the U.S. Last year, Brainly doubled its active users, from 10 million to more than 20 million. However, nearly half of those users are still from Russia, and the majority of its user base resides in Europe.
But this month, the site finally debuted in 12 new languages, including English, along with mobile applications for iOS and Android, using money it had raised in 2012 for the expansion.
“Our vision is to see students from all over the world benefiting from our educational peer support system,” said Brainly CEO Michał Borkowski.
Brainly isn’t Jelly, the mobile app that enables users to share a photo and ask a related question. Nor is it Branch, which centers on creating subject-specific social media conversations. And, unlike those two apps, Brainly isn’t linked to your Facebook or Twitter networks.
And there are several similar competitors, such as Quora and Answers.com, which makes for a crowded market.
The site’s structure is similar to that of other crowd-sourcing sites and forums and uses a point as an incentive to engage users within the community to both ask and answer questions. Points are free and you get 50 points when you register an account.
Users post questions in subject-specific categories, which are then displayed on the homepage. When posting a question, you decide how many of your points to offer for an answer. The user who correctly answers the question is then awarded the points. In order to speed up the process, the idea is that the more points someone offers for a question, the quicker they will receive an answer.
The questions can range from simple algebraic problems to broader social science quandaries such as, “What is the difference between Spanish in Spain and Mexico?”
Brainly has relied on outside investment and the Polish start-up raised $500,000 in funding from Point 9 Capital in 2012 and plans on seeking additional funding, but did not offer specific details.