Qaster, a social Q&A platform by WIV Labs
With the average number of tweets hitting 500 million a day, it is no wonder that Twitter has become a gold mine of data and information for various companies all over the world. Monitoring tweets and conversations have become a way for companies to watch for trends and issues that consumers are concerned with in real-time, and deal with them in a timely manner.
Understanding the potential of the data within the millions of tweets, South Korea-based WIV Labs launched Qaster, a social Q&A service, at the end of last month. Qaster aims to mine Twitter for useful conversations by archiving questions and answers generated on Twitter, and makes the data searchable on the Qaster website. Answers to a tweeted question are displayed in a chronological manner, making it easy for users to follow the conversation.
Qaster displays Q&As with relevant search terms.
Compared to previous methods of data mining, such as running scripts to mine the API streams, Qaster makes gathering relevant information more convenient and easier for users who are not code-savvy. “Well-connected users on Twitter can gain the information they need by asking questions to their followers. However, the information … is only available to a small number of people for a short period of time,” said Dongug Kim, founder of Qaster, in an e-mail interview with TechNode. “Qaster enables everyone to access this reliable information at any time.”
Currently, Qaster only displays questions and answers (presumably mining tweets that include a question mark in them), hence users who are hoping to conduct sentiment analysis might not be able to obtain a comprehensive set of information. However, WIV Labs plan to expand the scope of their analysis beyond Q&As in the future. They had chosen to focus on Q&As initially because they “decided that the conversations with the highest information yield were Q&As”, according to Kim.
K Cube Ventures, South Korea’s leading early stage venture capital firm, invested $470,000 in WIV Labs in September 2013. However, one question that comes to mind is how Qaster plans to monetize – the Q&A platform is currently free, and users do not need an account to search for information.
“Right now, our focus is on applying the results of analysis to our service rather than monetization,” said Kim. “However, if Qaster proves to be valuable to many people, we believe that there are a variety of ways that we can monetize it.”
South Korea’s Small & Medium Business Administration also invested $470,000 in WIV Labs as part of its Global R&D Program, a highly selective government investment program that provides funds to technology-based companies that are creating innovations in the tech field.