Have experts answer your questions in new app ‘Whale’

Global Business

Have a question you’ve always wanted to ask an expert, but never had the chance? New apps recently launched in both the U.S. and China are trying to fill this desire, by making it equitable and manageable for both the questioner and the answerer.

CGTN’s Mark Niu has the details from San Francisco.

Have experts answer your questions in new app 'Whale'

Have experts answer your questions in new app 'Whale'

Have a question you’ve always wanted to ask an expert, but never had the chance? New apps recently launched in both the U.S. and China are trying to fill this desire, by making it equitable and manageable for both the questioner and the answerer. CGTN’s Mark Niu has the details from San Francisco.
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How much would you pay to get your question answered by an expert – whether that be in the world of sports, music, business, or technology? The new app Whale is searching for the right mix.

Whale CEO Ranidu Lankage is a pop star from Sri Lanka and an entrepreneur who uses Whale to answer questions about music and business.

On Whale, experts name a price for user question and then provide a minute long video answer. If the expert responds within 48 hours, they earn 80 percent of the asking price and Whale gets the remaining 20 percent.

Users can also purchase Whale points to unlock existing clips.

“We really want to build a knowledge network of influencers and experts,” said Lankage.

Whale takes a cue from the website Quora, which has for years provided free answers in written form. But Whale also draws inspiration from WeChat’s FenDa, which in less than a year’s time has millions of Chinese users paying to have experts answer their questions, but by voice message only.

The founder of Whale is Justin Kan, famous for having started Justin.TV in 2007, which streamed his life online 24/7.

Justin.TV also spawned Twitch. Twitch is a live video-game-streaming site that was sold two years ago to Amazon for nearly a billion dollars.

Inundated with questions on Snapchat, Kan now typically charges $5 per question on Whale.

So far, $25 is the highest anyone’s paid for an expert’s answer.

And while the app mostly has access to tech influencers, Kan says to expect experts from other areas soon.


Justin Kan talks about Whale and other internet ventures

CGTN’s Mark Nui talked with the founder of Whale, Justin Kan, to learn more about his new app Whale and ask him what he learned from broadcasting his life online on Justin.TV, back in 2007. Kan is a Chinese-American Venture Capitalist investor and the founder of the video app Social Cam.


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