Remember Jelly, the question and answer app founded by Twitter cofounder Biz Stone? It’s back.
After announcing a closed beta earlier this year, Stone has officially relaunched Jelly, which has been given a total redesign.
Once again, Stone is positioning Jelly as a human-powered search engine, though he readily admits there is “a bit of AI” involved as well.
“But all this science is in service of getting you the right responses from the right folks. People who can help because they’ve been there, they have the experience, they have the opinion, and most importantly, they have the answers you need — and you can follow up with them too,” Stone writes in a blog post on Medium.
Jelly has had a bumpy road up until now. The app launched with a lot of hype in 2014 but then quickly disappeared into App Store oblivion.
At the end of 2014, Stone pivoted The Industry to focus on a new app, Super. “I don’t think we’re ever going to be the next great search engine.”
Then, early this year, Stone announced he had changed his mind — again. In what he dubbed an “un-pivot,” he revealed in January that he was, once again, working on Jelly, which would be making a comeback.
To be fair, the latest iteration of Jelly (which is also on the web in addition to iOS) looks a lot different than the original. It ditches the card interface of Jelly 1.0 for a sleek design that looks a bit more like a traditional search engine. It also doesn’t require an account to browse topics or ask and answer question — a hurdle that may have stymied the original It’s growth.
Whether or not the new approach will be enough to make It finally successful is hard to say. Making social apps stick is notoriously difficult — even with a Twitter cofounder at the helm — and Quora already has a pretty good corner on the crowd-sourced Q&A space.
But if Stone and the rest of the Jelly team can succeed in making the app more, well, sticky, then they may actually have a shot.