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A Jelly app review (plus five ideas to improve it)

Jelly, Jelly, Jelly. It’s been the buzz of the tech world since the service was launched via a tweet earlier this month.

jelyl app review idealog simone mccallum?So, what is it? Jelly is a new social question-and-answer app from Twitter cofounder Biz Stone: “Jelly changes how we find answers because it uses pictures and people in our social networks”.

Snap a photo and then ask your social community a question based on the image. Things like: “What is this strange landmark?” or “What is this fruit on my tree?”. This question-plus-photo is shared on Jelly with the friends-of-friends of your Facebook and Twitter connections, and then you sit back an await the flood of answers.

I gave it a whirl, persevered. Tried all the features, persevered. Asked more questions, persevered. And nearly gave up.

Here’s an example of a question of mine that was answered – and was useful! It turned out this was a question many others had too.

Ask Jelly

There are a few drawbacks though. The user interface at present is quite limited so features are basic. Here’s what I’d like to see added to Jelly in future releases:

1. Adding search and filter functions so you can find questions on a subject of interest, or filter out questions you don’t want to see.

2. Be able to view user profiles and see questions that have been already asked and answered. At present you have no idea whether someone you actually know is using Jelly unless you see a question from them.

3. Give us the functionality to reply to answers. At the moment there is no threaded conversation – one person asks a question, several people answer (individually), but no replies to answers or further conversation can be had. Quite frustrating.

4. Allow us to remove users from your community – some people are just plain annoying or bordering on spam and there is no ‘block’ feature yet (although you can report inappropriate content).

5. Let us follow specific users to see all their questions. Brands in particular would love a feature like this so they can run competitions or campaigns.

The one nagging question that keeps bugging me is “What problem is Jelly supposed to be solving that other services like Twitter or Google Search or Quora or Reddit aren’t already?”. This lack of a clear purpose results in #SillyJelly (a term I just made up, I hasten to add). Here are a couple of ‘good’ examples Jelly has published on their blog, including one from Mark Zuckerburg who appears to have spiders in his house.

I’ve also seen brands ask and answer questions on Jelly which has been interesting and it will be worth watching how this usage evolves within the community.

Jelly earnestly prompts you to “Point. Shoot. Ask!”. I’m considering “Eats, shoots and leaves.” If it hadn’t been for the association with Biz Stone, I wouldn’t have installed the app at all. However, I’ll continue to persevere with Jelly until the next swag of features arrives and hopefully see improvements to this service then.

The Jelly app is available free on both iOS and Android. See you on Jelly!

Simone McCallum is a social media strategist with a passion for all things tech and digital. She blogs at simonemccallum.com

Review overview