This week, a new social media app hit the Android and iTunes market. Jelly is a free-to-use app that combines digital photography, social media use and crowdsourcing to help answer users’ questions. Unlike Quora, which also offers user-generated answers to questions, Jelly was created specifically for the mobile market and is designed to answer esoteric questions that traditional search engines cannot easily handle. That’s why Geekwire suggests it may be trying to market itself as the “Instagram of asking questions.”
How It Works
Jelly uses a simple interface to enable users to ask and answer questions. To ask a question, you first must take a photo related to the question. For example, if you want to know what else a guest star on your favorite TV show has been in, take a photo of the star with your mobile device. Once you’ve taken your photo, you can either use it or take another. After accepting the photo, you simply ask and post your question. Other Jelly users who are connected to you through Facebook or Twitter then have the opportunity to answer your question. When you are ready to answer others’ questions, you simply scroll through the photos on your home screen and click Answer on any question you think you can answer.
Best Use Practices
Since Jelly is photo based, you are more likely to get a wide variety of answers to your questions if you take high-quality and eye-catching photos. Questions that use the visual medium are more likely to get answers. You also want to ask questions that have specific answers; philosophical or abstract questions probably won’t get as many answers.
Currently, only about 25% of questions are getting answers at all, and most of the questions that do get answers get responses within the first 30 minutes of posting. This demonstrates a fundamental limitation with a question-answering service like Jelly: the responses you get are only as good as the people you know. If you ask a question that most of your contacts don’t know how to answer, you may not get any answer. In addition, since answers are not vetted for accuracy, you may get conflicting answers or wrong information. It’s important to evaluate the answers you get objectively, especially if you are seeking any type of advice.
Jelly was meant to answer quirky or idiosyncratic questions that Google can’t really answer. If you’re looking for straightforward facts, you might want to try Google first. If you want opinions, however, Jelly is the place to go.
Despite the limitations, there are a lot of potential uses for Jelly, especially for business owners. Some businesses are already taking advantage by posting product pictures with questions such as, “What brand do you associate with this product?” In fact, “What brand is this?” is one of the most popular questions on Jelly so far, which suggests businesses could find ways to market themselves on Jelly.
The entertainment industry will also want to take a look at Jelly. You could create a buzz around an upcoming movie or episode of a TV show by posting a promotional photo of the characters and asking what users think should happen next.
Of course, a lot of what Jelly does can already be done using Facebook or Twitter. However, as the Associated Press points out, Jelly takes it a step further by allowing your friends-of-friends to see your questions. Thus, you can expand your reach and more easily get questions answered using this app.
In summary, Jelly has a lot of potential for businesses as well as individuals, but you have to be careful–if your social media contacts don’t know what they’re talking about, you might get answers that lead you in the wrong direction instead of the right one.