The social media community has been abuzz the last few month with question-and-answer sites like Quora and Mahalo’s Answers. Though these sites have gained quite a bit of niche following, the average person using social media has continued to use Twitter and Facebook to throw out questions to friends and followers. Today, Facebook announced a revamped version of ¬†Questions. This feature actually started last summer as a test with a small group of people, and now Facebook is beginning to roll it out to everyone.

Facebook is primarily launching Questions because they noticed a trend of users updating their status with a question, and friends answering in the comments. According to Facebook’s blog, when Facebook started Questions, they saw a frequency of opinions (“what are your favorite restaurants in New York?”) or questions trying to gain a little background about their friends (“what was your favorite movie as a kid, something you watched over and over?”). Facebook notes that these types of questions asked by Facebook users set the new Questions feature apart from “competitors” such as Quora or Answers – experts aren’t really useful for these types of questions. For example, if I want to know what the best restaurant is in Seattle, I want to know the opinions of my friends for a personal recommendation. Even ratings on Yelp hold less meaning when I want to know where my friends think the best brunch in town is. Facebook says that for these types of questions, “the answers to these questions are meaningful or interesting because you know your friends and your friends know you.”

The structure of the new Facebook Questions is designed to allow users to answer the question with an existing answer with a single click, or by adding a unique response. Facebook explains this makes it easy for more people to respond to you, as well as see the most popular response. Additionally, though a Facebook Question will be initially shared with only your friends on Facebook, every time a friend responds to your question their response will be shared on their wall and thereby in all of their friends’ newsfeeds. As a result, those friends-of-friends can respond to your question, as well.

Here’s how to use the new Facebook Questions:

1. Log in to Facebook
2. Navigate to either the “Home” page or your Profile
3. Find the “Share” features listed just above where you enter your status update. 2nd from left you will see “Question”. Click on “Question”.
4. Type in your Question.
5. Click “Add Poll Options” below your question, on the left”
6. Enter a few options for your friends to choose from. Your friends can also enter their own options when they answer your question.
7. Click “Ask Question”.

Have you used the new Facebook Questions yet? Would you find it useful, or just another way to ask useless questions?