Pinterest buys up Jelly, a small search engine powered by real people

pinterest
Bloomuma / 123RF
What goes with jelly better than peanut butter? Pinterest, apparently, if it’s Jelly with a capital J. On Wednesday, the social media platform acquired Jelly, a small search engine app that crowd sources the search “results” from friends and other users. Financial details were not disclosed.

Jelly is a search app that, instead of combing the web for answers, asks your friends — and friends of friends — and “community experts.” Despite being a sort of social search engine, the app’s description says you can ask those questions while “preserving anonymity.” The search is designed for any type of question, from local recommendations to general facts and advice.

Biz Stone, the app’s co-founder, says that Jelly and Pinterest actually have very similar missions, with Pinterest delivering search results largely pinned by actual people and Jelly crafting a human-powered search engine.

The companies are still working out the finer details and aren’t sure whether Jelly will remain a separate app or will somehow be integrated into Pinterest. The majority of Jelly’s small team will be integrated into Pinterest staff, Stone says.

Stone says that, while he was already familiar with Pinterest as an investor, conversation with Pinterest’s Ben Silbermann and Evan Sharp made Pinterest’s acquisition offer stand out from several other offers. “The more we talked, the more we realized we had the same interest in reimagining search,” he wrote. “We were finishing each other’s sentences. It became clear that for both companies, the best path forward was for Pinterest to acquire Jelly Industries.”

The iPhone app, launched in 2014, is ranked in the quadruple digits on the App Store and outside of the nearly 500,000 downloads from their first month, never quite took off. Jelly’s latest update earlier this year allowed users to tag answers as helpful, so the best answers get pushed to the top of the list.

Smart Home

Woman finds wedding ring in new Instant Pot, tracks down owner on social media

Instant Pots make a great Christmas gift, but one woman opened hers to discover someone else's wedding ring inside. Through the power of social media, she was able to return to the ring to its proper owner.
Virtual Reality

Think virtual reality is just for games? These awesome apps will change your mind

Virtual reality isn't all about gaming. Swim with turtles, paint in 3D, and immerse yourself in some unique experiences the platform has to offer with our curated list of the best VR apps.
Mobile

Keep up-to-date with the best news apps on iPhone and Android

Are the days of traditional newspapers and broadcast news dwindling? With apps this good, maybe. Catch up on the latest headlines on any platform with the best news apps on iOS and Android.
Home Theater

What is Netflix Roulette, and how exactly does it work?

For years, educated viewers have been using Netflix Roulette to broaden their horizons. The web app can help you find movies and shows you'd never think to watch! What exactly is it, though, and how do you use it? We explain it all.
Gaming

Stay festive and find the chilly gnomes in our 'Fortnite' challenge guide

The Fortnite week 6 challenges are here in season 7 of Battle Royale. The biggest challenge this week is Search Chilly Gnomes, which tasks you with scouring the Battle Royale map for these little critters.
Emerging Tech

Indiegogo claims 2018 was its best year yet with 1,300 success stories

Just how many successful products launched on Indiegogo last year? For the first time, the crowdfunding platform shared the number of projects shipping to backers. The year-end statistics also list the most successful campaigns.
Photography

Lume Cube wants to help you look your best while livestreaming

You're ready to start a video conference or go live, thenn you realize the lighting is all wrong. The Lume Cube Air VC is a lighting kit designed specifically for video conferencing and livestreaming.
Social Media

Japanese monks hit Twitter to protest driving ticket in the most brilliant way

Cops in Japan told a monk recently that he shouldn't drive a car wearing his traditional robe as its long length and long sleeves might affect his ability to drive safely. His fellow monks came up with a brilliant response.
Social Media

Looking to share some content? Here's how to repost on Instagram

Ever seen a cool picture on Instagram that you wanted to share? There's no official means of reposting content on Instagram, but there are a few workarounds. We break down the two most logical choices for getting the job done.
News

Japanese billionaire splashes the cash to break retweet record

Japanese billionaire entrepreneur Yusaku Maezawa has proved again he has a knack for self-publicity after launching a cash-prize contest to break the retweet record. Maezawa is the same man who is hoping to go to the moon with SpaceX.
Computing

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Photography

Photoshop fail gives Aussie leader two left feet in official portrait

The Aussie prime minister doesn't have two left feet, despite an official photograph of the leader and his family suggesting otherwise. It was, of course, a Photoshop fail, and the embarrassing snafu was soon trending on Twitter.
Social Media

Instagram now lets you post to multiple accounts in one tap

Instagram for iPhone now lets you post to multiple accounts at the same time. It's not the regram feature that many users have been asking for, but it could prove useful for some users who manage more than one profile.