Jelly is a fun service that allows you to pose and answer questions with people on your social networks.
What is Jelly all about?
The idea behind Jelly (which was devised by the co-founder of Twitter), is to help people help each other and make connections at the same time. You connect the app to your Facebook and Twitter accounts, and can then use Jelly to throw questions about anything out to people for them to help you with.
Likewise, you can respond to questions asked by your social media contacts (and their contacts) to help them out. You can send or receive thank you cards to people who supplied useful answers, or rate other people's answers as 'good' (a bit like 'liking' something on Facebook).
So far, Jelly probably sounds to you just like any other question and answer service such as BlurtIt or Yahoo! Answers. The difference with Jelly though is that it puts photos at its hub, giving it a visual appeal that's so inviting it's easy to lose yourself in the app.
To ask a question you simply snap a photo of something then type what you want to find out. Obviously the photo should represent the question in some way, but it doesn't necessarily have to. You can either capture an image through Jelly or choose an existing one from your device.
Jelly lets you perform basic image editing functions before you send your question out into the ether. This includes cropping, framing, zooming, and even drawing on your pictures. It's frustrating not being able to rotate an image, though, and it would be nice to have some filters to play around with.
Another difference between Jelly and Yahoo! Answers-style services, is that Jelly is completely app-based. There is no web version of Jelly, so you can only interact with it through the iOS or Android Jelly apps.
How to use Jelly
Starting out with Jelly is very simple. You don't need an account for the service itself, you simply connect to your Facebook or Twitter accounts (or both) through the application. If you've enabled the social integration support in iOS 7 this is pretty much instant.
Using the Jelly app is a breeze thanks to some smart interface design. Things are kept dead simple, with just two main menu options. The 'Point. Shoot. Ask' feature is where you capture an image, edit it, then type a question. The Activity section is where you can view a stream of all the questions you've asked and answered, as well as your answers that people have thanked you for or thought were good.
Questions waiting to be answered are shown in the form of cards which you can choose to answer, or forward to someone else (whether or not they use Jelly) with a single tap. If you can't help with a particular question, you can simply flick it away to close it and it won't reappear.
Ultimately, of course, the effectiveness of Jelly will depend on how many users embrace the service. It's an interesting concept though, and makes for a fun alternative to searching the web for answers to your questions.