Last year I attended ‘The Art of Marketing’ conference in Toronto where Biz Stone, one of the co-creators of Twitter, gave the closing keynote. In that session someone had asked him about more details on this new project he was working on called ‘Jelly’. This was the first I had heard of this and there was not much detail on the web about it other than some info on some very prominent financial backers of the project. Stone’s response to the question was, “I don’t want to talk about it because it’s still in early development but what I will say is, it will change the world for the better.”
On Tuesday, January 7th, Biz Stone and his co-founder Ben Finkel launched Jelly and the best way to describe it would be the following:
Jelly is a new type of search engine that uses the power of social connections to find the answer you are seeking.
Essentially what this new platform allows you to do is take a picture of something, and then ask your connections a question about it. Now your network may respond or they may forward it to someone in their network who they feel would know the answer to your question. Jelly is all about people helping people and now with mobile technology and social media, that has become far easier than ever before.
Now, I imagine that early critics will ask, how does Jelly differ from Quora or Google Goggles. Quora is a social platform that positions itself as the best source of knowledge. It is a hub where people ask questions and get responses from others and the site even allows you to blog about the topic you are an expert in.
Google Goggles on the other hand allows you to take a picture of something and then combs the Internet to find you details of that image. Some would consider Google Goggles to be the pioneer in visual search. Jelly seems to be a perfect blend of these two tools but its secret ingredient is social media.
Jelly is hoping to create ‘Search 2.0’. Through the power of social connections and visual images, the hope is that people will start adopting Jelly as their new search engine. Google is still a powerful search platform but more and more people are starting to use other tools for search; tools like YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. By harnessing social media, Jelly is relying on the power of social connections to change how people search and how people get answers to every day questions.
Has Jelly been worth the wait or is it pure hype? I am looking forward to seeing how it evolves and how users embrace it. I would love to see the tool incorporate video down the road. Whether you love it or hate it, remember that Twitter was not received with overwhelming love when it first came out and now look what it has become. 140 characters changed the world; will Jelly and its platform of ‘connected social search’ do the same?