IAC Buys Controversial Q&A Site Ask.fm


IAC has bought controversial social network Ask.fm.

The site lets users post anonymous comments to questions, a function that has led the site to be associated with online trolls and cyberbullying.

Ask.fm has an approximate global user base of 180m monthly unique users.

The Q&A site was released in 2010, and has expanded to 150 countries on both mobile and web, handling around 20,000 questions per minute.

IAC – who own Tinder, Match and OkCupid – already own Ask.com.

Part of IAC’s intent with Ask.fm is to integrate it with Ask.com, and push a more mobile-centric focus for the search site.

The Ask.fm mobile app has been downloaded 40m times, and 45% of its users login every day.

Doug Leeds, the CEO of Ask.com, said: “Ask.fm has seen phenomenal usage and engagement because of its compelling take on social expression: describing yourself through the lens of what others want to know about you.

“Now under Ask.com leadership, the plan for unlocking its true potential will focus on making the experience even more engaging, while significantly increasing the investment in safety.”

Over the past few years, Ask.fm has been linked to a number of suicides by teenagers who were bullied on the site.

With the acquisition, IAC have brought in experts to help keep the platform safe, including former Yahoo director of global safety, Catherine Teitelbaum, and digital safety expert Annie Mullins OBE.