Instead of asking my officemates what to name the new house plant I plopped on my desk, I took to Jelly. If you haven’t heard, Jelly is a new app co-created by Biz Stone, one of Twitter’s founders. It allows users to pose questions, accompanied by a mandatory photo, to their Twitter and Facebook following already using Jelly (as well as their following).


You never know what you’ll hear back from the Jelly crowd. Within ten minutes, potential names were Hector, Splurtsky, and Skorn – two of these suggestions coming from people I’ve never met. (Within three days, I had 12 responses! I’m still on the fence…).

The point is I can receive crowd-sourced wisdom within minutes anywhere (as long as I have a mobile device and reliable Internet connection). I probably will never use it to ask my followers what to buy at Starbucks, but maybe I’ll take a photo of a restaurant in Cleveland and ask for reviews. Of course, Jelly’s asset is its vast bank of brains (which sounds creepy), but that’s also a weakness. In some instances, it wouldn’t make sense to post anything too hyper-local about where I live (near Akron) since the vast majority of my connections are in Cleveland or the coasts and wouldn’t have a clue how to answer my question.

Maybe the real way to use Jelly is for thought-provoking questions or tapping into someone’s specific knowledge. Quora and even Yahoo! Answers are other Q&A platforms, but neither offers an app as user-friendly or intuitive as Jelly.

Here’s an excellent example of Jelly’s simplicity that Biz Stone himself tweeted. Someone asked what certain Chinese symbols meant on a piece of art, and another user quickly responded with a translation.

Regardless, big brands have already jumped in, including Kenneth Cole and Livestrong. Remember the time when brands were afraid to try out new social networks? Even a year ago when Vine was released, some were timid. The day Jelly came out, I predicted brands would eventually use it as a market research or engagement tool, but I didn’t think it would happen so quickly.

Of course, it’s important to remember most consumers – and brands – haven’t yet heard of Jelly, and the opportunity to create viral, engaging content there isn’t fully realized yet. It was much different with 2013’s mobile video wars between Vine and Instagram, when brands could immediately begin posting sharable videos.

Who knows? Maybe Jelly will surprise us and become the world’s largest focus group, or maybe it won’t. Actually, let me go ask that question on Jelly and find out what everyone else thinks…