Ben Finkel and Biz Stone, Jelly Co-founders

Ben Finkel and Biz Stone, Jelly Co-founders

Jelly is the long-awaited project recently unveiled by co-founders Biz Stone (formerly of Twitter) and Ben Finkel. Its aim is to change the way search is done. In Jelly, users are still required to ask questions, but instead of web-crawlers and algorithms, images and social networks are the focus.

How does it work?

Asking a question with Jelly

Asking a question with Jelly

You can download Jelly from the App Store or Google Play. Once you’ve opened the app, allow access to your Twitter and Facebook accounts. This will connect you to a wide network of people needing answers, and ready to answer your questions. From here, just have fun.

The simple user-interface requires that you tap “Answer” to answer a question, “Forward” to send the question to a friend who might know the answer, or swipe down to go to the next question. Be careful, though. Once you’ve moved on to the next question, there is no going back.

Once you’ve answered a question, you may receive a thank you from the person who asked the question.

Thank You Card in Jelly

Thank You Card in Jelly

To ask a question, select the camera option in the top right corner, snap a picture or choose and existing picture from your photo library, and ask a related question. You’ll receive answers from direct contacts, and people in their networks almost immediately. You can see answers to your questions in the top left corner by selecting the account option, where a drop-down menu will appear with all your answered questions and thank you cards.

Why should Jelly be the new search?

As Biz Stone details in a blog post announcing the launch, pictures that are worth 1,000 words are very valuable in a world of 140 characters. Stone writes, “No matter how sophisticated our algorithms become, they are still no match for the experience, inventiveness, and creativity of the human mind.”

Jelly allows for a different search experience, and also lets you help friends and leverage your networks. This feature is important to Jelly’s co-founders. The ability to answer questions quickly and forward questions along to someone who can help makes the world smaller, according to Stone.

How can you use Jelly?

Visiting a new city and wondering about the name of an interesting attraction? Take a picture and post it to Jelly asking its name.

Wondering if your outfit is appropriate for an upcoming event? Take a selfie and ask on Jelly.

Want to know the best chess move to make? Snap a picture of the chess board and ask fellow chess-masters.

Will Jelly take over?

In order to be successful, Jelly needs a large user base and a consistent flow of interesting questions being both asked and answered. Though answers can come quickly, they are not as quick as a specific Google search.

The model for Jelly, though, is innovative and creative. Though it might not be the sole way of searching for answers, it does solve the issue of not always knowing the correct way to ask Google a question to get an adequate answer. Having an image as the basis of the question opens up a new way to get answers.

Would you use Jelly as a primary search tool? Post your thoughts in the comments section here to let us know!