A review of the question and answer social network Jelly

Launched on January 7th of this year and created by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Jelly is less a social network and more a question and answer platform that draws from your existing social connections. In a video from the Jelly blog, Biz describes Jelly as a search engine that uses the collective knowledge of your network to answer the questions you ask and not just return information like traditional search engines.

Jelly is a mobile only app currently available on both iOS and Android devices and works by using your existing social connections from Twitter, Facebook or both and then from within your network you have the ability to answer questions, pose questions and even forward questions to people you think could answer the question best. The premise is simple, take a picture (or upload one), ask your question and then get your answers from those you already have a social connection with or from those in their networks and given the amount of reach that can be had in theory getting an answer to a question shouldn’t take long.

After asking or answering a question you may also receive feedback which can come in the form of a Thanks from the user who asked the question or others to the question can agree with your answer by clicking on Good.

I have played with Jelly in both answering and asking questions and my experience while positive is mixed when it comes to the app and it’s functionality.

The Good And The Bad

I love how super simple they have made it to ask a question in Jelly and in my limited experience with the app the questions I have asked have been answered in under a minute. I also find that answering questions that other people ask makes you feel good and makes you want to answer even more questions. The Thanks Cards you receive from those you answered questions for are just enough incentive to want to continue being helpful.

When one uses a service such as Jelly you would almost expect to find the typical snark and internet vileness that you see in similar services such as Yahoo Answers, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised and so far and have not witnesses any of this behaviour and the mood inside Jelly seems to be one of genuine help.

In saying that, I do see some drawbacks to the service and a few missing features that I hope will be addressed in future updates. One of the first major flaws that I notice in the app is a lack of support for search, hashtags and even categories, with the goal of Jelly being providing answers and if they are looking to have experts provide those answers they are going to have to make it easier for the questions to be found. This is especially important if those questions are asked outside the experts social network.

I also wonder how long it will be before the internet trolls move in and start polluting answers with the normal troll like answers and when or if this happens the usability of the service will be greatly diminished as you will have to filter through multiple answers to find the one correct answer amongst the multiple non-useful ones.

The  gamification of the site poses a problem as well as it seems many of the questions I have seen asked are of the fill in the blank or complete the phrase type and I wonder if this is a by product of the newness of the app as people begin to explore the capabilities or if it’s actually what’s in store for what could be a very promising service.

The last thing that I worry about is the speed at which answers can be received, when I go to Google I get answer to my query instantly and in most instances I can find the answer to my questions. With Jelly, it may take seconds or it may take hours before you receive the answer you are looking for.

How Brands May Use It

Jelly really has my marketing senses tingling and from what I see, Jelly has plenty  in terms of potential and could be a boon to those wanting to provide help while at the same time increasing their status as a trusted authority and expert as it pertains to their subject matter of interest.

A baker could use the service to answer questions about why a cake fell, or how to properly ice a cookie or on what substitutions to make in a recipe, a teacher could use the service to answer questions about military history and a mechanic could use it to answer questions about car parts or how to use a certain tool.

The ability for brands and individuals to answer questions is a clever way to increase brand awareness and works toward building credibility, trust and authoritative status by simply providing help to others.

The Future

The potential of Jelly is amazing  (the first week alone seen 100 thousand questions asked)  and the very thought of what a brand could do with the service has my creativity racing but in my opinion Jelly has a ways to go before hitting prime time. If they implement search and even categories this alone would make finding questions to answer easier and wouldn’t limit you to your own networks, if the community manages to self police and keep the spammers and trolls at bay the service will remain useful and just imagine if they implemented short form videos and you could record 6, 8, 10 or even 20 second videos to a problem you needed help solving? Or if they implemented verified accounts and awarded expert status so that you knew the information you were receiving could be trusted?

If Jelly continues to evolve and implement changes that improves the usability I think users will continue using the service even after shiny newness of it has left. But, I feel that if the service doesn’t continue to push forward and innovate I could see it dying a rather quick death.

Over To You

Have you tried out Jelly? What has your experience with the service been?

The post Are You Jelly? A Look At This New Q&A Social Network appeared first on Social 360.