Jelly is a new mobile app that offers the best of both worlds: it’s both a search engine and a social site. The platform is relatively easy to use: snap a picture with your mobile device, type in a related question and send it off to be answered by friends. For brands, it appears that Jelly may have something unique to offer. Perhaps that’s why Ben & Jerry’s, Whole Foods, General Electric, Lowe’s and even CNBC have jumped on board.

But is Jelly really the next big social platform?

Basics of Jelly

First, let’s go over a few basics about the social site.

  • Works with existing social networks like Facebook and Twitter

  • Questions can be forwarded outside the app so friends don’t need Jelly to join the conversation

  • Crop, reframe and zoom tools to enhance photos

  • Users can write or draw on the images to be more specific

  • Co-founded by Biz Stone (co-founder of Twitter)

  • Supported on iOS and Android devices

  • Free to install

What’s the Objective of Jelly?

The social app is easy to use, and the ability to write and draw on images is pretty neat, too. But what exactly is the objective of the social platform? Why would someone want to download and use the app in the first place?

The goal of Jelly is to create a social network where people are eager to help each other. Instead of simply offering a fresh and innovative platform for sharing images, Jelly’s commitment is toward altruism and the greater good of the community. People naturally want to help each other by sharing their responses, and this is what will ultimately drive engagement on the platform.

How Brands are Using Jelly

As with any other social site, brands have the ability to use Jelly in a variety of ways. Some have stayed true to their commitment of offering valuable tips and information, while others are more focused on asking questions and driving quick, one-word responses. For example, Ben & Jerry’s surveyed customers about how they feel about labeling GMOs on products, while CNN polled users on on what issues they wanted the President to address during the January State of the Union address.

At this time, Jelly is so new, no one can predict if it will retain its popularity. It’s easy to want to jump on board with something new and exciting, but only time will tell of Jelly’s success. However, the fact that Jelly has been co-founded by Twitter’s own co-founder, backed by investors like Bono and Al Gore and has many big brands already claiming their territory, we can safely say that Jelly offers some serious potential.