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Brands Join the Experimental Journey on Jelly

  |  January 16, 2014   |  Comments

How a question-answer service with photographs could serve a brand’s marketing objective is a query that Jelly and its users will answer as the platform grows.

Rare is the new social app that doesn’t tempt the savvy brand or digital marketer to enter the fray. Even more so when a new app like Jelly comes along from a co-founder of Twitter.

While a few brands like Toms, Travelocity, CNBC, GE and Kenneth Cole came out of the gates early with questions or answers for Jelly’s early-adopting audience, the activity was mostly experimental and as slow as it was tepid. 

How a question-answer service with photographs could serve a brand’s marketing objective is a query that Jelly and its users will answer as the platform grows. But for now, the earliest days have seen a flurry of activity.

Following its first week of public availability, more than 100,000 questions were asked and about 25,000 or one quarter were answered, according to RJMetrics, which pulled and analyzed data from Jelly’s publicly available API endpoints.

The most popular queries are “what is this?” and “who is this?” Meanwhile according to RJMetrics, the 44th most frequent question was “what brand is this?” 

Doug Schumacher, co-founder of the social media content strategy tool Zuum, puts Jelly in the “minimum viable product stage,” a familiar and understandable territory for a social app that is building a new community from scratch.

"It's a little bit Quora Q&A, a little bit Tinder's UX, and the streamlined social options of Instagram. Given its emphasis on short and visual, I'd expect early brand efforts on Jelly to be more gaming type things,” he tells ClickZ. 

“Right now, I don’t think there’s a lot of space for brands to operate in Jelly,” he adds. “For now it’s probably brand advocates with large Twitter followings that would be best suited for business applications.”

There may not be a pure business play yet but brands are tinkering with the opportunity nonetheless. GE asked its followers which scientist (past or present) they’d like to sit down and have a coffee with, Travelocity stuck to answering questions as the roaming gnome character while CNBC posted a picture of a Tesla and asked: “If you could own any car in the world, what would it be?”

“Social media strategists have been itching to jump on the next big thing. Given the question and answer format of content on Jelly, I expect to see brands leverage the platform as a social activation and feedback mechanism,” notes Jonathan Lawoyin, director of digital marketing at Ready Set Rocket. 

Lawoyin and Schumacher also expect Jelly to add a more intuitive search function that could lead to more product reviews and the like down the line. After all, Jelly’s team describes the app as such:

"Using Jelly is kinda like using a conventional search engine in that you ask it stuff and it returns answers. But, that’s where the similarities end… Jelly changes how we find answers because it uses pictures and people in our social networks. It turns out that getting answers from people is very different from retrieving information with algorithms."

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Matt Kapko

Matt Kapko has been writing about mobile since 2006, before it became cool. Based in Long Beach, CA, he has covered mobile entertainment, digital media, marketing, and advertising for several business media outlets. A former editor and reporter for RCR Wireless News, paidContent, and iMedia Connection, Matt is a regular freelance reporter for ClickZ. You can follow Matt on Twitter at @MattKapko or drop him a line at matt@kapko.co.

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