Back in early 2014, Twitter co-founder Biz Stone launched a new question and answer based social network called 'Jelly'.
Designed to be a combination of Google and Quora, Jelly provides community-sourced answers, with it's point of differentiation being improved quality of response - as explained by Stone:
"We don't measure our success by how fast we can show you a massive quantity of possible answers, or how much time you spend on our service. Once you ask a question on Jelly, you can go do something else. We'll let you know when someone has answered your question. So, it's not instantaneous, but it's timely, and you're getting quality over quantity."
After an initial flurry of interest, Jelly adoption and use spiralled and the app was largely considered a failure. But earlier this year, Stone announced that they'd learned from their previous mistakes with the app and re-launched Jelly. And now, Stone has made another announcement about the future of his Q and A platform, with a new Twitter integration seeking to boost use of, and interest in, Jelly once again.
And while it still might not catch on, the new integrated process is interesting nonetheless.
As explained by Stone:
"When you add #askjelly to your question Tweet, Jelly will import your question into our search engine, get you a good answer, and export that answer as an @reply back to you on Twitter. Jelly's motivation is to be where the questions are."
How does that work in practice?
As you can see, when you use the #askjelly hashtag, Jelly will automatically pose that question to the Jelly community, then tweet you back an automated response when an answer is supplied - those responses come with a generic "We found and answer..." or "Does this help?" intro, then a link back to Jelly for the full detail. You don't need a Jelly account to get an answer, and you won't be prompted to log into Jelly to see more when you click through.
It's a good way to generate more interest in the app, with the full responses linked back to Jelly. By piggybacking on the back of Twitter's user base, Jelly might actually find a new use case and resource capacity, which, in turn, could get more people to use Jelly, both as a means to answer their queries and as respondents in their own right.
The problem Jelly's faced is that there's no real place for it - it combines Google and Quora, but we already have Google and Quora, there's no real need for an in-betweener. But Stone believes that Jelly's crowd-sourced solution is valuable and that people will find improved value in it if they use it. Getting them to try has been the stumbling block, but now, all you have to do is send a tweet.
It's a clever way to boost the app and improve its chances of finding an audience.