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Monday, March 19, 2012, 03:04 pm PT (06:04 pm ET)

Online Apple Store adds 'Answers from the Community' to product pages

In an attempt to make product Q&A more social, Apple has launched a new community layer to its online Apple Store that taps into the knowledge base of existing device users that supplements the official FAQ already found on most product pages.

In the online Apple Store's new "Answers from the Community," potential customers can ask questions to knowledgable device owners or contributors, allowing for pointed queries to be answered in a more timely manner when compared to the broad "frequently asked questions" system.

The new section, which can be found at the bottom of many Apple Store product pages, features a search bar as well as a list of links to the most-asked questions as well as a "popular topics" category for a given device.

Users who conduct a search for previously asked questions will be taken to a separate Answers from the Community webpage and, if a suitable answer is not yet in the database, can submit the specific query from there. Also on this dedicated community page is an option to answer proposed questions, which is done by selecting the "Answer Now" button and logging in with a valid Apple ID.

Although the Answers from the Community page has a dedicated URL that branches from the online Apple Store's, it seems that many of the submissions are integrated with Apple's Support Community.

Answers Community

The online Apple Store's new 'Answers from the Community' section. | Source: Apple.com


The new section brings more flexibility to the FAQ system already in place, and also exposes users to the densely populated Apple Support Community by presenting a gateway to the Q&A forums in a reformatted eye-pleasing UI.