Twitter’s Biz Stone launches Jelly app worldwide

8 Jan 2014

Jelly co-founder Biz Stone

Biz Stone, co-founder of Twitter, has released his highly-anticipated question and answer app, Jelly, worldwide on both Apple and Android devices.

In his introductory blog post, Stone explains the thinking behind the app’s creation.

In today’s world, when we have a question we want answered, our first reaction is not to search an encyclopaedia, but head straight online to Google the answer. As convenient as this is, some writers and thinkers have even gone as far to say that our instinct to Google an answer has destroyed our memories.

With Stone’s Jelly app however, the emphasis is on using the people in your social network to come to your aide in answering that question like a message board but between friends.

Focus on fun

Of course, relying on your friends for questions like ‘What is the density of the planet Mars?’ might not be as reliable as Google, but as Stone says in his blog post: “Jelly changes how we find answers because it uses pictures and people in our social networks. It turns out that getting answers from people is very different from retrieving information with algorithms. Also, it has the added benefit of being fun.”

Jelly is designed to search the group mind of your social networks who can then throw in answers or suggestions. To find a traditional comparison, the group of friends down in the pub all trying to figure out an interesting bit of trivia from days gone by.

Just as your social networks can answer your questions, you can answer theirs. However, this is not just restricted to people within your social networks.

Inevitably, it will come to a point where one question just proves too difficult. When this happens, it is possible to send the question through a standard text with emphasis being placed on sharing the question among their friends to finally find an answer.

The app also features the ability to include images if the user wishes to add further intrigue.

Potential competition

Co-founded with Ben Finkel, the team at Jelly currently comprise 8 full-time staff along with a number of other investors and advisors.

It remains to be seen how the app will do in an already competitive area where websites like Yahoo! answers as well as apps like Quora and Cha-Cha already exist, but with Biz Stone as the co-founder, there will be significant interest in how the app progresses in the coming months.

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic