Hillary Clinton on Tuesday ventured where no 2016 presidential candidate has dared when she went on Q&A service Quora to promote her bid for the White House.
The Democratic candidate for president joined the popular online forum to answer questions on a variety of hot-button topics, including her stance on the Affordable Care Act, defunding Planned Parenthood and how to make prescription drugs less expensive. The former first lady also discussed how being a grandmother will "make her a better president."
Stops at online communities such as Quora are becoming increasingly valuable to candidates as social media plays a bigger role in how Americans consume political news and information. A survey conducted by the Pew Research Center before the 2014 mid-term elections found that 16 percent of registered voters followed candidates or other political figures on social media, a sharp rise from 6 percent during the 2010 midterm elections.
Quora, which was founded in 2009 by former Facebook engineers, aims to "democratize access to knowledge of all kinds." Its pitch to consumers is that the quality of content is best on Quora because it encourages identity, meaning people often submit and respond to questions using their real names.
The Mountain View, California-based company hopes its verified discussions will stand out from the other platforms such as Reddit or Twitter by housing detailed, long-form content. The site has already become a favorite for Silicon Valley bigwigs to answer questions about the industry, or for employees to tell all about what it's like to work for a certain company.
The forum has more than 500,000 topics, more than $150 million in venture capital, and an unknown number of users but so far no revenue. However, Marc Bodnick, Quora's head of business and community, told Bloomberg in January that the company planned to begin carrying advertising by mid-2016.
Quora representatives declined to discuss the number of users it has or the state of its revenue plans.
While Clinton is the first presidential candidate to make a campaign stop at Quora, she isn't the first politician to answer questions at the online forum. In 2014, President Barack Obama paid a visit to Quora as part of a media tour to encourage more people to sign up for health coverage through the Affordable Care Act before an impending deadline.