I have a medium-large circle of acquaintances here, that I’m happy to hear from periodically. I have a core of maybe half a dozen people here, who are as close to me as any friend at this stage of my life.
In refutation of all those who think this site is not social media (including respondents to this question):
If you are prepared to use this site as social media, then your relation with other users will graduate to the kind of relationship that people cultivate on social media. Ipso facto.
If you think friendships can only exist in meatspace, well, go back and read any number of epistolary romances from 500 years ago. And I’ll just get the hell off your lawn.
If you think Q&A sites preclude personal engagement, then you’re following the Precepts of the Founders, who have bafflingly never wanted this site to be social (and who for the past 7 years have banished “Quora Community” discussions from the feeds of non-subscribers).
Your loss, if you do. The fact that users do form friendships here is testament to the human spirit, which leaps over any hurdle the suits of Quora UX can fashion.
I will make a concession: I have admired writers from comments and answers, but I have only progressed to friendship with other Quora users through messaging. And Quora’s messaging UX is such that eventually, I’ve had to migrate my conversations out of Quora, to keep my sanity.
So I guess Quora UX won there, after all.