Search Gets Social
January 9, 2014
The tech world is abuzz this week as social media and search engine’s continue to collide with the official release of Jelly. Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and partner Ben Finkel recently launched the app with the intentions of not reinventing current search engines but coming up with “a new way to search”.
So what makes it different? In a nutshell, Jelly allows you to use the knowledge of everyone in your social network to answer a query by simply snapping a photo and asking a question. Friends (and friends of friends) can then respond if they know the answer. Interactive and personal, with answers based on knowledge rather than information, make this search app stand out from what’s already out there. Kind of what Siri aspires to be.
Reviews of the app have been mixed, with complaints about the organization of answers, over use of notifications, and for myself personally, I don’t really want to have to take a photo interpretation of my question every time I want to post something. But to be fair, this is version 1.0 and the general idea behind is quite interesting, as well as a telling sign of things to come in search.
With this launch fresh of the heels of the Hummingbird update, it seems that searches are becoming less generic and more personal. I don’t foresee Jelly becoming the next Google, nor does that seem to be the goal, but it does seem to be tackling the personal side of search that Google’s algorithm can’t quite put a code on. While Google will probably always remain the first place you go to look for a specific location of a restaurant or where to buy plane tickets to Maui, Jelly theoretically will allow you to ask your own personal demographic on “the best restaurant in San Diego” and “things to do in Maui”. Instead of getting filtered Yelp reviews or sponsored blog posts, you will have unbiased opinions from familiar people.
It is too early to tell what this new app means for businesses and what correlation (if any) Jelly will play with rankings but it is one worth checking out and keeping an eye on it’s development. If user experience continues to play a large part in your online presence, Jelly has all the makings of being a contributor.