Google Buys Aardvark
Remember Aardvark? The community that was designed around experts that helped other users who experienced problems in their field of expertise?
The premise of Aardvark was that every user in the world is an expert in something. Each Aardvark users would therefore be able to answer questions covering his or her expertise.
The idea of Aardvark was to create a community of users that is self contained. Users ask questions, and other users who are expert on the topic answer them.
This question and answer service felt similar to Yahoo Answers, but was spiced up with instant messaging features. It was for instance possible to ask questions directly using Instant Messaging clients, Twitter or email clients.
Google acquires Aardvark
Google bought Aardvark to strengthen the company's questions and answers capabilities, something that Yahoo has done for instance with Yahoo Answers long ago.
All Aardvark users received emails about the acquisition in which the founders of the service state that everything will remain as is. The service will remain free and fully operational.
One of the first changes is the addition of Aardvark to Google Labs. That's not a bad thing as it will expose the service to a larger userbase.
The Aardvark team has created a FAQ on their blog that addresses the acquisition and some question that Aardvark users might have about it.
Google has also released a statement about the acquisition on the Google Blog.
Update: Turns out, not everything remained as it was as the founders of the service stated. Google announced in September 2011 that it would shut down Aardvark alongside several of its other products.
Plenty of alternatives are available. Yahoo Answers is still around, and there is Quora which is another question and answer community.Â There is also Stack Exchange, and the myriads of mostly science-based answer community that it makes available.