Twitter cofounder Biz Stone is joining Pinterest.
Pinterest announced Wednesday that it’s acquiring Jelly, the Q&A app Stone founded in 2013. Both Stone and cofounder Ben Finkel are joining Pinterest as a result of the acquisition. Stone in a special adviser role (he will work with Chief Product Officer Evan Sharp) and Finkel as part of the growth product team.
Jelly’s future is less clear. It’s possible Pinterest could decide to continue supporting it, as it did with Instapaper, though this seems unlikely given Jelly’s lackluster App Store rankings. More likely, it seems, would be Pinterest incorporating parts of Jelly into its own offerings.
“We’re still working out details, so there are unknowns,” Stone wrote in a statement Wednesday. “Will Jelly remain separate, or integrated somehow?”
Jelly’s Q&A app launched in 2014 with a lot of hype and promptly went nowhere. Stone and co then pivoted to a photo app called Super before pivoting back to Jelly last year — this time retooling the Q&A app as a kind of search engine.
But the latest iteration of the app also failed to gain traction with users and had been steadily declining in App Store rankings since the 2016 relaunch, according to data from App Annie.
Pinterest and Stone both say it’s because the two teams’ visions line up nicely when it comes to search
So why would Pinterest buy an app (Bloomberg reports it’s an all-stock deal, though exact terms haven’t been disclosed) that was never really that popular to begin with? Pinterest and Stone both say it’s because the two teams’ visions line up nicely when it comes to search. (Stone was also an early investor in Pinterest so the two have something of a history together.)
“The Jelly team’s approach to an exploratory search powered by a mix of technology and human curation is closely aligned with our own vision,” Sharp said in a statement.
“The addition of Biz Stone to the team, who’s one of the great product thinkers and creators of our time, will move us closer to our mission of building a product that helps people around the world discover and do what they love.”
Pinterest has been rapidly scaling up its efforts around search and discovery, particularly when it comes to visual search. Last month the company debuted a new feature called Lens, which allows users to search for items by taking photos, and the company launched a new AI initiative to focus on visual search, among other projects.