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Twitter co-founder Biz Stone relaunches failed Jelly app

After an “un-pivot,” the answers app is now a human-powered search engine.
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David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Biz Stone's resurrected Jelly app officially relaunched today, and where the original 2013 app was something like Instagram-meets-Yahoo Answers, Stone sees the latest version as a return to his original vision and an alternative to Google.

Unlike the first version, everything is anonymous and you don't necessarily have to rely on your social network for answers this time around. "We think the future of search engines is just ask a question, get the answer," Stone told TechCrunch. The goal is to save users those "ten or 15 minutes you didn't have to spend looking around on links."

Users can sign up to answer questions and, like other services, responses are rated based on whether or not they were actually helpful. But there's a bit of artificial intelligence involved as well. "Yes, we've developed a routing algorithm," Stone wrote in an announcement post on Medium. "Each query and every answer is freighted with metadata. But all this science is in service of getting you the right responses from the right folks."

In other words: If you're asking where to get lunch in Barcelona, for example, Jelly wants to make sure you get an answer from someone who has actually been there. Users will also be able to follow up with the person who answered their query, in case they need more information.

The app is live now in the App Store and on the web at askjelly.com.

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