Before April 20, 2012, users levels 5 and above could give an unlimited amount of questions, answers, and comments. Answers established an upper limit to curb spam and unproductive answers.
Before April 2014 users were also able to vote for a best answer if the asker did not choose one, but this was discontinued.
The point system ostensibly encourages users to answer as many questions as they possibly can, up to their daily limit.
Once a user achieves and maintains a certain minimum number of such contributions (See Note*, further...), they may receive an orange "badge" under the name of their avatar, naming the user a Top Contributor (TC).
There are also levels (with point thresholds), which give more site access.
Points and levels have no real world value, cannot be traded, and serve only to indicate how active a user has been on the site.
Any new answer will most probably not be seen by any original questioner. Answers mascot is a cartoon hamster called Yamster. The toy was a battery-operated, dancing, musical plush hamster clothed in a karate uniform. Answers employee selected a photo of the toy as the staff avatar. The comedy/advice podcast My Brother, My Brother and Me features a reoccurring segment in which co-host Griffin Mc Elroy selects and reads a particularly humorous or outrageous question from Yahoo! The hosts then discuss and attempt to answer the question, to comedic effect.
A notable downside to the points/level system is that it encourages people to answer questions even when they do not have a suitable answer to give to gain points.