Twitter co-founder Biz Stone has launched Jelly, an app that helps its users to find an answer to whatever question puzzles them at the moment.
Jelly is intended to tap into the potential of users’ extended social network. It allows users to post a query, accompanied by a picture or a drawing, and receive a response from the people they know and trust.
The idea behind Jelly, was to create a search engine that would give relevant results with knowledge from friends and family, rather than from a generic algorithm. Although, there are several existing social QnA apps and forums like Quora, Jelly utilises pictures for the same purpose.
One can click a picture and ask his/her friends across Facebook and Twitter. With imagery, the discussion becomes more interactive. Each query is submitted to the people in the network who also have Jelly. The app notifies the user back when there are answers.
The company touts three specific benefits to its app. The first is that it works with your existing social networks — it’s not something new that you have to sign up for. Secondly, it allows you to forward your questions outside of your friends so it’s not constrained to 150 people or 5,000 folks on a particular social network. Lastly, questions aren’t limited to text-only. Users can upload an image, crop it, reframe, draw on it to help add more specific context to their inquiry.
The idea for a social search service has been criticised in the media, with many observers pointing out that users can already share their questions, accompanied by pictures, through existing social networking services, and don’t really need Jelly.
Jelly was named after the jellyfish. Stone was inspired by this sea creature saying that the neurological decentralization of the animal has caused it to be more of a ‘group-think’ one whose brain is “more ‘we’ than ‘me’.”