Pinterest Have Acquired 'Social Search Engine' Jelly
Ever wondered what it might look like if Google had unprotected sex with Yahoo Answers? Well, it might look a little something like Jelly, a search engine founded by Twitter alum Biz Stone. The idea was this - when you searched something in Jelly, it would reroute the question to anyone out there on the net who might have been able to give a viable answer, theoretically sidestepping one of Google's key issues - it can't offer answers to specific questions very well.
Long story short, it didn't work, and now the long-running, hapless project (it began life under the name 'Fluther' in 2007) has been acquired by Pinterest. What Pinterest intend to do with Jelly is unclear, all that Stone has offered is that they're not sure whether Jelly will remain a separate entity of just be absorbed into Pinterest.
Given that hardly anyone has heard of Jelly, not to mention the fact that it never actually worked, it's unlikely that Pinterest will make any attempt to capitalise on it as is. It's an odd choice on their part, Pinterest is already really good at picking up on parameters that Google leave by the wayside, which is half the reason why Pinterest are still enjoying increasing success year after year. You just can't research wedding decor on Google like you can on Pinterest.
So the question remains - why pick up Jelly? Well, from the horse's mouth, the idea is to use the developments made with Jelly to move things further towards the world's first true visual search engine. Makes sense, in theory, or it would if the efforts previously made by Jelly had done anything to advance things towards that goal. In truth, all a Jelly search would let you do would be a few emails vaguely relating to what you asked for, and it would take about 15 minutes to get them.
Really though, it seems to be about the people. Buy acquiring Jelly, Pinterest have picked up a nice new roster of tech veterans, Stone in particular. They may have overreached with Jelly, but the work they can do with Pinterest may indeed be valuable. The only concern with that is that they may initially insist that Pinterest keep the Jelly dream alive as a condition of coming on board, and, let's be honest, a dream is all it's every going to be.
Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @Songbird_Callum
Pinterest Have Acquired 'Social Search Engine' Jelly Reviewed by Callum Davies on Friday, March 10, 2017 Rating: