Twitter Co-founder Biz Stone introduced on Thursday 7th January a new social network called Jelly. The rumour about this new project had been shrouded for some time and received a lot of attention from tech magazines and journalists who were all wondering what Biz Stone had come up with this time. The expectations were probably too high which explains why the general reaction when it was introduced were quite average: “Jelly isn’t anything quite so special” said engadget. The Next Web added “much of this appears similar to something you’d get out of Quora, Klout, or any other Q&A service” or again The Guardian who wrote “At first sight, Jelly looks worryingly like a solution to an already-well-solved problem”. Reactions were not really positive but not really negative either. The question remains: what Jelly is really about? Jelly is a mix of different already existing apps. It is a search engine like Google, based on pictures like Instagram or Snapchat, that you can share with your friends like Facebook or Twitter. Jelly is all that.
A blog introducing Jelly was also launched (http://blog.jelly.co/post/72563498393/introducing-jelly). It starts with a quote on humanity and connectivity: “Humanity is connected like never before. In fact, recent white papers have concluded that the proverbial “six degrees of separation” is now down to four because of social networking and mobile phones. It’s not hard to imagine that the true promise of a connected society is people helping each other.” Basically, Jelly wants to use the pre-existing connectivity among people, that has been created by other social media networks, and reinforce it through mutual help. Yes there is clearly an altruistic aspect of the new social network that Biz Stone explains in the video accompanying the blogpost: “People will be eager to help each other on jelly because we are driven to help; that long term idea of making the world more empathetic places is something that really drives us and makes us excited about the work.”
The blog describes the new app in those words: “Using Jelly is kinda like using a conventional search engine in that you ask it stuff and it returns answers. But, that’s where the similarities end. 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 wants to become a platform dedicated to a new form of social connectivity by pulling knowledge from your friends and their friends and thus helping to create a more “empathetic” world.
Engadget – Biz Stone’s Jelly answers your questions through photos and social networks (video)
The Next Web – Biz Stone launches Jelly, a service for crowdsourcing answers from your social networks
The Guardian – Twitter co-founder Biz Stone’s Jelly app wobbles onto iPhone and Android