Monday, January 13, 2014

Jelly isn't a Social Network, but it is Interesting

Jelly is a new "social network" that recently launched from one of the founders of Twitter. The founders call it a cross between a search engine and a social network. 
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. Albert Einstein famously said, “Information is not knowledge.” Knowledge is the practical application of information from real human experience.
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. Here are the three key features of Jelly.
Essentially, you snap a picture, add a question, and send out to everyone within 2 degrees of you on Twitter and/or Facebook. See something unusual and you don't know what it is? Snap a picture, circle it, and see if someone else knows. I saw a post from Mark Zuckerberg today asking what type of spider was in his shower. 

As far as I'm concerned, it's far more similar to Quora than it is Twitter or Facebook. As for my app business, I think it could be more useful too. I don't know if Jelly will take off, and I don't know how receptive it will be to this sort of thing, but I think it would be incredibly useful as a way to do market research. Can't decide on an icon? Put your choices out there and ask lots of people which they like better. As it is designed to be a question and answer network, this would work far better than posing the same question on Twitter or Facebook I suspect.

I've seen some people complain about the 2 degrees, or "friends of friends" approach. Personally, I don't think they realize this isn't a social network. It is a question and answer site. The more people you have looking at your question the better chance that someone knows the answer. Frankly, I think it would be fine for me if my "network" included every single person signed up for Jelly. I guess I could simulate this by following the top people on Twitter. Follow a handful of celebrities and you are probably 2 degrees from almost everybody there.

Perhaps there is also a use case where you would want a closed private version with only your close friends, but I suspect that would be better served by a different medium. If you want to ask a personal question, this isn't the correct forum. It is for general questions, and as such, it is almost certainly better served by larger networks than smaller ones.

My first 2 questions posed to the audience?

1. Do you prefer apps with a more flat iOS 7 design or the old skeuomorphic design better? Link to Jelly Q

2. Anyone have or plan to get a smartwatch this year? Echo, Pebble, Galaxy, only if Apple releases iWatch? Link to Jelly Q

If you've read this far and are interested in the mobile app market you may want to check out my book on how I make money on the mobile app stores called Building an App Business.

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