As social media has taken over our lives, it has become more difficult to come up with new and inventive ways to share information with each other over the Internet. Pictures, videos, and 140-character blogging have all been done. What is the next big social service going to be?
Jelly is a social app that hopes to fit the bill. Users can upload pictures and ask a group of people what an object is, how to pronounce a word, or where to get the new hotness. You’ll get lots of helpful responses, mostly from friends of friends you may or may not even know, but they are helpful just the same…
When you first open the app, you’ll be asked to connect Jelly to Facebook and Twitter. That’s how the app connects you with others to ask and answer questions. The main screen is a viewfinder for the in-app camera. You can turn the flash on or off, switch the camera to front facing, or access a picture from either your iPhone’s camera roll or Google Images.
After you’ve added a picture, you’ll be able to ask a question relating to the subject matter. You can also add a URL link and draw on the image with a freehand pen.
You will be able to see how many of your friends (and friends of friends) have asked a question. At the bottom of the “Ask” screen, you will see a banner that tells you how many people in your circle have asked a question. Tap it to see the “Answer” section of the app.
When you read a question, you can either send an answer or throw it away. If you are sure you won’t be able to help someone, throw it away by swiping the card downward. To answer the question, tap “Answer” at the bottom of the card.
You can read what others have responded by tapping the answers at the bottom of the screen. Swipe from left to right to scroll between answers.
Under your activity section you can see the questions you’ve asked, the answers you’ve given, and answers others have given to you regarding a question you’ve asked. Tap the profile icon in the upper left corner of the screen to access your activity feed. If a person really liked your response, they may send you a “Thank You” card. Your Thank You cards will be listed in this section as well.
After logging into your various social networking accounts, you’ll be able to ask a question or help someone else by answering a question. To ask a question, take a picture or upload one from either Google Images or your iPhone’s photo library. You can zoom in to a specific spot in a photo if you want to make it easier for others to see what you are talking about.
Then, type the question. For example, I took a picture of a plant that was given to me two years ago. I never knew what kind of plant it was, so I asked, “What kind of plant is this?”
You can also freehand draw on the picture to help get your point across. You can draw circles or arrows and even hand write words across it. If there is a relevant link in your question, you can add it at this time. Then, hit “Send” and it will be published to the Jelly feed.
When published, your friends, and friends of your friends will see your question and can answer if they like.
To answer a question, first select the Answer section by either selecting the banner at the bottom of the screen or by tapping “Cancel” in the viewfinder section of the in-app camera.
The first available question will be displayed for you to read. If you think you know the answer, tap Answer to give your advice. You can also read what others have said by tapping the answers at the bottom of the screen. You can “Like” a person’s answer if you think they are correct.
If you don’t know the answer, but think you know someone who does, you can forward the question to them through email or SMS.
If you think you know the answer to someone’s question, tap Answer. Then, enter text, add a link, or draw on the included picture to answer. Once finished, hit Send and your answer will be posted on Jelly. Others can Like your answer and the person who asked the question can send you a Thank You card.
From what I could tell by the people posting questions, I was connected from my Facebook and Twitter feed through friends of friends. For example, my friend Claire never actually posted anything on Jelly. However, many of her friends were asking questions, so I was able to see their posts, even though I don’t know them at all. If you want to find out more about some of the people who are in your extended network, you can tap their name to see their profile on Facebook or Twitter.
This app is just plain fun. I love reading what other people have to say about something. For example, someone asked about an eco-friendly alternate to plastic pooh bags for cleaning up after their dog. The answers ranged from useful links for biodegradable bags to funny statements about letting the dog eat it.
I wish there were a way to see Jelly questions without having to wait for your connections to ask them. Right now, the only time I see a question is if someone I am linked to through Facebook or Twitter asks it. Jelly should have a public feed where anyone can ask and anyone can answer. Users could designate whether they wanted their questions public or not.
Jelly is free and worth the download. If you have any interest in getting help with unknown questions (like, the best way to make chicken soup), or are good at giving advice, it will make your day. I find myself checking it regularly to see what has been asked, or whether someone has answered my questions.
This is a fun new social media app that could be the next big thing. It won’t replace any of the major services, but that is what makes it so great. It doesn’t pretend to be bigger than it is. It just makes asking and answering questions more fun. Download it in the App Store today.
Loop is another social app that lets you ask a question for others to answer.