Thoughts on the new Jelly App

In a guest post Tim O’Neill, co-founder of Reactive spends a few thoughts on the Jelly app.

This week saw the launch of Jelly, the new start-up from Twitter co-founder Biz Stone. This pedigree guaranteed a certain amount of hype and uptake, with curious early adopters jumping on the Jelly wagon and testing it out, myself included.

Jelly is a blessedly simple concept: you can ask or answer image-based questions.

To pose a question, take or upload a photo and write a question (e.g. “what part of France is this wine from?”). Jelly connects to your Facebook and twitter accounts, and then posts this question to your Jelly-using network.

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To answer questions, swipe through the lovely ‘deck of cards’ interface, find a question to answer and write (or draw) a response.

Many have compared the site to existing services like Quora, Aardvark and Yahoo Answers (which are all Q&A services), however Jelly feels different – in particular with the focus on images. It also has an (almost) gamification aspect, with ‘Thank You Cards’ and ‘Good Answer’ messages when you’ve made a particularly thoughtful, accurate or funny response. This will likely develop over time.

One very cool aspect of Jelly is that it runs as an iPhone app, Android app and also as a mobile site – and you can share questions via SMS or email with people that don’t have the apps installed. This is supremely clever and impressive technically too.

One significant area of improvement is ‘App-store SEO.’ Currently searching for ‘Jelly’ in the iTunes App Store shows a lot of games, but not this app.

Naturally, the chatter on and around Jelly is a) how will brands jump onboard, and b) how will Biz Stone and his esteemed investors seek to monetise it. A good article on this is on Medium.

Right now, only one thing is sure: that this first release of Jelly is just the beginning and will certainly evolve (or maybe ‘pivot’) in the coming months as they learn from user feedback and usage patterns.

There will be the inevitable land-grab for Jelly “firsts” by brands, agencies and the like. Some of these will be heralded as genius, most will be predictable, others will create a customer backlash (it will be irresistibly tempting for a brand to start posting ‘branded questions’ and spamming Jelly).

I would end with “follow me on Jelly,” but currently there is no way to find or follow a person. Instead, download the app and have a play.

Follow Tim O’Neill on Twitter here

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