What is this?
It is Jelly, a social utility co-founded by Biz Stone that, in its early stages, has a lot of people questioning its staying power. Unlike Twitter, however, Jelly is getting a lot of early attention from major brands, along with investments from Al Gore and Bono. Jelly is an image based mobile Q&A app that relies on the user's existing networks (currently Facebook and Twitter) for answers. Unlike Quora, answers from experts outside of the user's network are not welcome, at least not now if they aren't advertisers. Ignite Social Media published a quick overview of how Jelly works, Likeable provided the user perspective and outlook.
Biz Stone explained to TechCrunch that Jelly is meant to tap into user empathy, making the answerers feel good about their involvement. Brands have been employing a number of strategies so far; Digiday listed the early hits and misses by Whole Foods, Ben and Jerry's and Lowes. Airbnb asked a question that they already know the answer to but might spark an interest in travel anyway.
The mixture of empathy and paid, pushed messages will make for an interesting product evolution. GigaOm has been one of the first to suggest that Jelly does not yet qualify as a marketing platform, with too many questions being asked by marketers with too many answers.