Released last month, Jelly is a mix of Quora, Yahoo Answers, and your social networks. Essentially a question and answer service using your friends and their connections as your audience, Jelly aims to be an immediate search engine for mobile users on the go through connections with Facebook and/or Twitter. The social integration is no surprise since Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, developed it alongside Ben Finkel. I’m not completely sold on this new platform, but there are plenty of applications for use, as well a lovely user interface, which make it a hot platform to watch.
One of the first questions I posed on Jelly (with an unrelated image of my cat.) was “Is Jelly essentially Quora? What makes it different?” I received two answers – “Quora meets Snapchat” and “More search engine, less wiki.” Pretty decent responses, even with the completely unrelated picture of my cat as the image. One of those answers came from a friend on Twitter and another came from a Twitter user from my extended network.
“We chose the jellyfish to represent our product because it has a loose network of nerves that act as a ‘brain’ similar to the way we envision loosely distributed networks of people coordinating via Jelly to help each other,” Stone notes.
How to: Jelly
Once you’ve downloaded the mobile app, a question will appear with an image and the profile picture of the user with the question. Your choices at this point are to answer it, forward it to a friend or swipe downwards on the screen to dismiss it forever. You are able to read all of the responses to the question and can signal to get notified when a question is answered.
Asking a Question
To ask a question (make it good :), click the camera icon and post your question with a photo, an image stored on your phone or with an image from Google. You can’t post questions without images and “Jellies” have been known to get upset if your image doesn’t relate to your question at all. Once you post it, just sit back and wait until someone answers. You’ll receive a notification when that happens. Hopefully the replies are useful and you can select “Thanks” or can share the answer to your network. Beyond saying good or thank you, there is no way to reply to a user to get more information. At that point, the conversation may have to be taken to another social network.
Answering a Question
If you know an answer to a question, select the Answer button and type your response. You can draw a response on the originally posted image or include a link to a more detailed answer within your answer. You can share other answers if you find them helpful on Jelly or you can share through your email or other apps or networks you share things on your phone like chat. This is a way for those early adopter Jellies to promote the network to their wider network. If you don’t know an answer you can swipe the questions away. If you run out of questions, Jelly will encourage you to come back later because you’ve done all you can.
To the left of the top of the screen, opposite of the camera icon, is a little person icon. This shows the activity above questions you’ve asked, answers you’ve received, answers you’ve given, thank you cards and if users thought your answer was good. Using the Activity log, you can refer back to previous questions on your whim. At this point there is no way to filter through to just see the questions you’ve asked or answers you’ve given. Hopefully that will be here in an update shortly.
Are we ready for this Jelly?
It’s all up to you. I believe that, like with all social networks, there are some who are ready and some who are not. Those who are on Jelly asking silly questions will get silly answers; however I’ve seen some useful advice getting passed along in various conversations about photography, fashion and beyond. Jelly is just over a month old, so there will be many changes in the coming months and Jelly will have to continue to find ways to vie for people’s attention among the seemingly hundreds of social networks users are already attached. Another thing that is yet to be determined is how Jelly will begin to monetize in a natural way. So far, Jelly has grown and users are still testing the waters regarding the types of questions to ask and what images and thoughts to include. Stay tuned; we may be more prepared for Jelly than we know.