The concept started on what Stone describes as a “walk and talk” with Finkel, where they were discussing how to build a search engine in today’s landscape. Forget about updating how search already exists — how can you take advantage of everyone’s connectedness and tie it to search?
The answer? A mobile app that employs your extended social network to get you the knowledge you’re looking for. The basic idea is that if you have a question, there’s someone you’re connected to that can answer it. By using this extended network of yours, there’s an incredible amount of knowledge and information that Jelly gives you access to. It seems obvious to ask your friends advice, but there hasn’t been a super clean way to do it. And best of all, it’s already available on both iOS and Android. How’s that for a fully stacked launch? ;)
Here’s one application of how it works:
You see something. You take a photo of it. You circle it and ask “what is this?” and post it. Then you get answers back in the form of cards, sort of like flash cards. Boom, you’ve got your answer and you might even get a little backstory… which is more than you might get from your typical search engine.
Stone and Finkel make the distinction between information and knowledge. Knowing something is entirely different than simply having the facts, and people have knowledge rather than just straight information. It’s definitely an interesting distinction to make.
In a way, it’s similar to using Twitter to ask questions with embedded images, but the UI is cleaner and, since it’s only about questions and answers, you don’t have to fight through fluff to get the info you want. It also feels less like you are just throwing a question into the general cloud and more like polling your friends, your friends’ friends, and so on. As the founders describe, it’s driven by using our mobile connectedness to make the world a more empathetic place. We can definitely get down with that!
It’s worth pointing out that another product with a similar setup has been out since September. Created by the team at Klout, Cinch is a super straightforward way to get expert advice based on your connections. You simply ask a question, then the app searches through your network and your network’s connections to connect you with someone who’s got great advice to give. And boom, personal advice from someone you’re connected to. The major difference between Cinch and Jelly is Jelly’s focus on using pictures to ask questions and tell the story. Cinch is currently just available on iOS, with an Android app coming soon!