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Quora for iPhone embraces the swipe in iOS 7 makeover

As part of a clever marketing ploy, the Q&A company has updated its iPhone app to be invitingly touchable and more reader-friendly.

quora feeds
Quora chucks tabs for five content feeds you can swipe through. Quora

Question-and-answer service Quora is hoping to capitalize on the attention of iOS 7 with a new iPhone application that dumps tabs in favor of the swiping design patterns offered through Apple's newest operating system.

Founded in 2009, Quora is meant to be a more intelligent playground than Yahoo Answers. In addition to questions and answers, the service also dabbles in blogging and reviews. Now the startup hopes to cater to elite readers on mobile with a redesigned iPhone app; it also has promised to release iPad and iPad Mini apps before the end of the year.

The new Quora iPhone app, version 3.0, is gesture-centric, meaning the application user can swipe back and forth to move among five different feeds of content. The application also comes with a navigation drawer, where people can find their notifications, messages, or draft entries. The drawer is accessible anywhere in the app by tapping the Quora logo.

quora navigation drawer
Tap on the Quora logo to go home, read your notifications, or finish a draft.

"The design of iOS 7 ... lets us create a fluid movement throughout the app," Marc Bodnick, who runs the company's business and community teams, told CNET. "iOS 7 puts content first to build an effortless, no-friction reading experience."

The swiping structure, he said, is intended to expose people to more of Quora's expansive content library, which includes questions and answers, blogs, and reviews on more than 400,000 topics. Just how many people is anyone's guess. Quora has always been cagey about the size of its user base, leaving many to speculate, both on and off the question-and-answer site, about its traffic and overall health.

The company, which has raised $61 million to date, still refuses to provide concrete data on its traction. ComScore counted 1.84 million unique US visitors to in August 2013, up more than 20 percent from the previous month, but down around 10 percent from last August when comScore measured more than 2 million unique US visitors.

Bodnick said, however, that about one-third of Quora's audience is now on mobile, and the iPhone app's fresh face is part of a company-wide strategy to prioritize mobile over Web going forward. The startup's mobile users spend double the number of hours using Quora as desktop-only users, he said.

Though surely part marketing ploy, Quora's iOS 7-optimized application looks invitingly touchable and may be timed at just the right moment to convince folks to give the app an initial spin or second look. If the company has made the app as reader-friendly as touted, those people will find themselves on a never-ending quest for knowledge.

Quota said it eventually hopes to have parity between its iPhone and Android applications, and will improve the Android application over time.