“WHAT’S THE NEXT BIG THING?” is a question I’m asked by friends and fellow digital marketers on a regular basis. I’ve been banging the mobile-only drum for a while, as well as NFC and interactive storytelling. Instagram was mobile only, and then moved to a web platform. Vine was next, and continues to thrive.
Then, out of the left field, enters Jelly. It’s a new Social app, based around questions and answers. Jelly is the brain child of US startup Jelly Industries, which was set up in 2012 by Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone.
According to the official Jelly launch blog post, “Humanity is connected like never before… It’s not hard to imagine that the true promise of a connected society is people helping each other“. Which is exactly what Jelly is trying to enable people to do.
I downloaded the free app this morning and decided to have a play. As a summary, Jelly is a mobile-only, photo-orientated Q&A app that leans on the knowledge of your Twitter followers (and their followers) and Facebook friends to answers to your questions.
Download complete, I opened the app and was presented with a nice welcome message.
The first thing I noticed was the swipe down comment. The app is nicely designed around swiping, which makes it simple to use.
The next screen then asks you to connect your Facebook and Twitter accounts, so that you can share questions and answers with your friends and followers. I was surprised there was no Google+ option. An addition for v2, perhaps.
Onto the questions! Jelly gives me a quick lesson on how to move from one question to the next.
I cycled through some of the questions, and most were test posts from first adopters. I couldn’t wait any longer, so decided to create my first question.
In hindsight, it wasn’t the best question in the world, but I wanted to get a feel for how to compose a question. You can take a new image (as I did), select an image from your camera roll, or choose a picture from Google Images. You also get the option of adding a link with the picture, and drawing on the picture to highlight a certain part, or to write a message.
I cycled through more of the questions. There were lots of questions about jobs, about products, and travel questions seemed to do very well, and get a lot of answers.
For each question, you get the option to swipe down and not answer, answer, or forward the question by SMS, email, or save to your clipboard for future use.
Enough window shopping – I decided to help out and answer a question. I cycled through the questions and found one to answer. I cycled through the answers by swiping left and right, and composed my answer.
Again, you can draw to help answer the question, attach a link, or simply type your answer in text. A little pie icon fills up to tell you how many characters you have remaining. You can also share your answers, and other user answers, but sadly the app kept crashing when I attempted to share anything.
It wasn’t long before I received my first ‘Thank You Card‘. Users who asked the question get the option to send a thank you card to those who have given a useful answer. Thanks!
Overall the app is intuitive and easy to use. As more and more people sign up to the app (and they fix the sharing problem), Jelly might be a very handy Q&A app. You get notifications when other users need help, and over time I hope the app bring in categories to filter and file questions. I’m happy to answer travel and digital marketing questions, but less so what someone ate for dinner.
Is Jelly the next big thing? Who knows. Much like Snapchat, Facebook and Twitter, we have another app on the market which probably won’t make any revenue for the foreseeable future, but one that will grow it’s user base and probably become increasingly important.
With Google also focusing on answering user search questions, the old team at Ask Jeeves must be kicking themselves for folding back in late 2010. The Q&A search and social sector seems to be thriving once again.
Let us know what you think of Jelly! The next big thing, or simply another app to split your time?