Jellyfish
Credit: Image via Britta Heise on Flickr
App of the week for journalists: jelly.co

Devices: iPhone / iPad, Android

Cost: Free

What is it? Image-based question-and-answer-style social networking app, brainchild of Twitter co-founder Biz Stone.

How is it of use to journalists? This app would be useful to anyone curating or crowdsourcing content.

It might also be used by journalists who need help to quickly identify something, especially when working in the field.

Described by its founders Biz Stone and Ben Finkel as "a new way to search", Jelly uses people from your social network to answer questions.

Users submit questions along with a photo captured from their smartphone camera.

Others can then respond to the question, either with text, a link or by drawing on the original image.

Jelly screengrab
Jelly is described by its founders as "a new way to search"

By linking the app to your Twitter or Facebook profile, questions can potentially be seen by anyone you are connected to and, in turn, by anyone they follow or are friends with.

Questions are not automatically shared with everyone you are socially connected with, however. Jelly's algorithm determines which users see which questions, sharing them with only the most relevant audience.

Any question can also be forwarded to someone else via text message – the Jelly equivalent of "phone a friend" – so a person doesn't have to download the app to post an answer.

Images are central to the Jelly experience because they "add depth and context to any question," noted Stone in a post on Jelly's blog.

However, Jelly's success as a search engine relies on how many people actually use the app, which was released yesterday.

Journalists should also take the usual care to verify any information from social networks.

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