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Twitter co-founder Biz Stone relaunched his Q&A app Jelly

"If this doesn’t work, then we’re screwed."

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

“If this doesn’t work, then we’re screwed.”

That was how Twitter co-founder Biz Stone described his revamped but not-yet-relaunched question and answer app Jelly to Re/code back in January.

Jelly, which lets people throw questions into the internet void and receive answers back from real human beings, is the third product Stone and co-founder Ben Finkel have launched since founding their company of the same name back in 2013.

On Thursday, that revamped app finally hit Apple’s App Store, which means Stone should soon know whether the app works or … he’s in a more unfortunate predicament. But Stone is one of the most optimistic entrepreneurs you’ll find in Silicon Valley, and this time is no different.

“We’re doing what we set out to do originally. We didn’t let ourselves get talked into doing something else,” Stone explained, a nod to the company’s first two apps, which never took off. “We wanted to build a search engine that uses people and uses mobile.”

Stone doesn’t describe Jelly as a Q&A app, but rather a “search engine” where your queries are routed to a human expert on whatever topic you’re asking about. Some 10 or 15 minutes later (Stone hopes to cut this time down in the near future), you’ll receive a single answer, rather than a list of relevant results like you’d find on Google or Bing.

You can also ask questions anonymously, which he hopes will encourage people to ask things they wouldn’t feel comfortable asking on other social networks.

“Imagine if your Google [searches] were your tweets?” he asked. “How many Googles would you actually do?”

Whether or not people need a Google or Facebook search replacement (or even a Google or Facebook search complement) is TBD. The original Jelly app, the company’s first product, was very similar to the new Jelly app, but without the anonymity element. It didn’t work. Plus, there are other Q&A forums out there, like Quora or even Reddit.

But that hasn’t deterred Stone, who also believes there’s one other thing you can gain from his app besides answers to your questions: Time.

“That 10 to 15 minutes is time we’re giving back to you,” he said. “Web search engines brag about ‘hey, we gave you 100 million results in .35 seconds!’ But you still have to look through those results to find some semblance of an answer that satisfies you.”

The new app is available for free, but is only on iOS.

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