Everything You Need To Know About Jelly


Jelly is the latest social network everyone seems to be using. Launched just last week by Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, it’s already popular in the Android Market and the Apple App Store.

Here’s everything you need to know about Jelly to jump right into the new platform, or to decide you want to skip this one.

What Is It?

Jelly is a question-and-answer-based platform that utilizes your existing connections on other social networks. It allows users to ask questions with accompanying photos and receive answers from people in their extended social networks.

It’s meant to be like a search engine, but users get answers from real people they know instead of just an algorithm. Sure, you could just post your question on Facebook or Twitter. But Jelly is meant to be more fun and potentially increase your chance of receiving answers.

How Does It Work?



Once you install the app, you’re prompted to connect to at least one social network. For now, Facebook and Twitter are the only two available.

If your friends and followers aren’t using Jelly yet, don’t worry. The app links you to friends of friends as well, so you’ll still have a loose network of people, like the loose network of nerves in a jellyfish.

Then, you can start asking and answering questions.

Each question is based on a photo. You have the option of taking a new picture, using a picture already on your phone or grabbing a picture from Google Images. You can edit your picture by cropping, zooming and drawing on it to point out exactly what you’re asking about. Then type out your question. Jelly is slightly more generous than Twitter, limiting your question to 240 characters. You can also include links in your question.

Once you get an answer, it’ll go into your notifications. If you particularly like an answer, you can send the person a “thank you” card or share the answer via social network, email or text.

At the bottom of the screen, you’ll see how many other users in your network have questions that need answering. You can answer a question in much the same way you’d ask one. Draw on the photo, send a link and/or write out some text. If you don’t want to answer a particular question, simply swipe to the next one.

What Else Can You Do?

Jelly is based on the premise of asking and answering questions with people in your social networks, but it’s designed to let you do more.

If someone else asks a question you’re interested in, you can star it so you’re notified of any answers. And if you don’t know an answer but you know someone who might, you can forward questions on to friends, even if they don’t use Jelly. People who aren’t on Jelly can receive links to questions via text or email, and they can answer from a web browser.

This means people can reach beyond their own social networks to get the most and the best answers to their questions.

Who’s Using It?

The app is being supported by some big names. Bono, Al Gore, and Biz Stone’s Twitter co-founders Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams are all on the list of investors, according to Mashable.

On its first day alone (Jan. 7), Jelly had 8,275 active users, defined as people who asked and/or answered questions, according to RJMetrics. In the first week, the number of daily users reached nearly 22,000, and people asked over 100,000 questions.

The most common question so far is “What is this?” or some variation. Other popular questions so far are “Who is this?” and “Where am I?” All three of these were image identification questions.

Despite an apparently strong start, it’s yet to be seen if Jelly will actually catch on. Daily usage has fallen each day since its peak at 22,000 users. And while people have no qualms about asking plenty of questions, only about 25 percent of questions are getting responses.

Early adopters also point to some of the finer points of the app which have yet to be ironed out. Some are complaining that users can’t sort or filter questions, which Stone says is on purpose. According to CNN, Stone says that while he’s open to adding features in the future, he thinks that categorizing questions would defeat the purpose of using your entire social network.

Others who have reviewed the app in the App Store and the Android Market say it’s simply a “waste of time” and “pretty but pointless.”