Quora believes getting answers is one thing, getting them instantly is another. To address the latter, Quora now features an “Online Now” label that indicates the person most likely to give you an answer is available right now.
“Online Now” supplements Quora’s Ask to Answer experience. Ask To Answer selectively recommends people who are most likely to answer your question on Quora, going by their track record with similar questions in the past. Online Now shows you when these ‘experts’ with the knowledge to answer your question are online and available to answer, and reciprocally also shows others when you are available to answer.
Quora says that many questions asked on the site are time specific (for e.g. What should I do if I smell gas outside my home?). The Online Now benefits from Quora’s much improved suggestion algorithm.
As Quora says,
Fast answers are magical — they satisfy your curiosity and help you make informed decisions. Fast answers are especially valuable when you are mobile and have questions that need answers right now.
The announcement also addresses privacy concerns. Your online status appears only on Ask to Answer and not on any other part of the site. You also need to have accessed the Quora homepage for the status to activate. You can turn off the Ask To Answer status setting and thus render your online/offline status invisible on Quora.