Twitter is doing all they can to grow and overtake Facebook as the world’s biggest social media provider. They are doing reasonably well in this venture, because they are seeing a quicker growth in new account signups than Facebook. But then again so is Google +, yet neither really is as big as Facebook – yet. In order to make themselves more popular, Twitter is moving into three different directions.
Firstly, there is Twitter Vine, initially only released for iPhones but now also for Androids, designed to change the way we share videos.
Vine: a mobile service that lets you capture and share short looping videos. Like Tweets, the brevity of videos on Vine (6 seconds or less) inspires creativity. Now that you can easily capture motion and sound, we look forward to seeing what you create.
Vine is hugely popular, being installed in 1 in 50 of all iPhones. Since the Vine for Android release, five million people installed it. Vine is taking off massively, and it seems Twitter has made a very good move in delivering this platform.
The second thing they have released is #Music. Unfortunately, this particular platform is not taking off as well as Twitter Vine.
When it launched in April, #Music popped to an early high of installs on 1.77 percent of U.S. iPhones. But in May, #Music users uttered a collected “meh” at the strung-together 30-second clips of trending artists on Twitter, dumping the app in droves. As a consequence, Twitter #Music’s iPhone “market share,” the percentage of phones it is installed on, fell to.45 percent in May, according to Onavo data.
Twitter promised that #Music would change the way we find our music. Unfortunately for Twitter, nobody has really seen any changes and people are simply not using it.
In their biggest move, however, Kevin Thau, who was responsible for #Music is leaving Twitter to work on the latest movement, which is Biz Stone’s Jelly.
Biz Stone’s Jelly
Biz Stone is one of Twitter’s co-founders and it seems that they are still working closely together considering that one of their main players is moving towards Jelly. But what is Jelly?
Essentially, nobody knows what it is yet. What we do know, however, is that some serious talent is being attracted to work on this project. Kevin Thau isn’t the only one, with the latest name to be attracted to the mystery project being Loren Brichter.
Today, Stone announced that Loren Brichter, former Apple engineer who worked on the original iPhone and founder of the popular iOS game Letterpress, had joined the company’s Executive Advisory Board. He’s the first member of the board. Brichter also worked with Twitter, and is responsible for their pull-to-refresh “user interface mechanics” patent.
And the list of celebrity names doesn’t stop there. There’s Camille Hart, who will be the Chief of Staff. She was Sheryl Sandberg (Facebook’s COO)’s assistant. Then, there is Ben Finkel, another big player in Twitter (co-founder and CTO), as well as Austin Sarner, one of Twitter’s main designers. Besides this, Jelly, whatever it may be, is attracting serious money. Investors include Jack Dorsery (co-founder of Twitter), Bono and Al Gore.
What Is Jelly?
We really don’t know what Jelly is yet, although speculation is rife and we are getting little snippets of information. We know that it has been called Jelly because it was inspired by the jellyfish. The jellyfish is not so much an individual creature, but more a coming together of different creatures. As explained by Biz Stone, a jellyfish thinks in “we” rather than “I”. Furthermore, the jellyfish has a decentralized function, and this has helped it to survive for millions of years.
Whenever information snippets are released, there is a mention of doing good and people being good at the core. The main speculation, therefore, is that it will be some sort of platform that offers social connections in order to do more good for the world.
However, there is actually a really big clue. Biz Stone has been involved, in a roundabout way, with jellyfish before. He has started up a QA platform known as “Fluther”. A fluther is the name used for a group of jellyfish.
Jelly plans to take core ideas from Fluther and remake them in an app purpose-built for mobile devices, according to a person familiar with the company’s plans. Fluther, whose team was acquired by Twitter in 2010 but remains operational, is part of a crop of web-based knowledge platforms that sprung up toward the end of the last decade.
Unfortunately, this still doesn’t tell us very much, particularly because we don’t even know whether Jelly will be connected to Fluther. We can only presume it will be due to the jellyfish connection. Jelly continues to be mystical not just because of its great cast, but also because we are told almost nothing besides that we will be provided with a platform that allows people to collaborate in order to make the world a better place.
The majority of people who are keeping their eye on Jelly believe it will be a Question and Answer system. However, this is nothing new particularly when you consider such platforms as Quora and ChaCha. Both are highly successful and it seems unlikely that a team of people as big as the one that has been attracted for Jelly would be happy to work on something that is essentially a copy.
The mystery will continue, but we hold on to the opening line on the Jelly website:
People are basically good-when provided a tool that helps them do good in the world, they prove it.
We know that Jelly will be free, that everybody will be able to use it and that it is designed mainly for mobile devices. Besides this, we know it will take some time before it will be completed. Until then, we will probably have to make do with various teasers released when they hire yet another big name.