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You Think You’re Ready For This Jelly?

Jessica Bedussi.

In the world of social media the “Big 3” are no longer dominating. Facebook has seen 3-million teens leave its site in the past three years. The once small platforms like Instagram and Snapchat have risen to the big leagues with Facebook purchasing Instagram for $1 billion, while Snapchat turned down a recent offer from Facebook for $3 billion.

Recently, a new social network, Jelly, has caught our attention and has brands and followers buzzing with excitement and curiosity. Developed by Twitter co-founder, Biz Stone, and funded by big investors like Bono and Al Gore, Jelly has the potential, and buzz, to become a big player in the social networking realm. Here are the main components of this mobile app and the info you need to know.

What is Jelly?

I like to think of Jelly as Google 2.0. When the simple google search doesn’t adequately answer your question, Jelly is a forum to turn to. It takes searching outside of an algorithm and allows human experience and knowledge into the game. To get the most out of the Jelly experience, users link other social networks, i.e. Twitter and Facebook. Followers, friends and friends-of-friends, are aggregated together from these linked social accounts to act as experts, advisers and comedians.

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The name and the logo: why? It actually makes more sense than you would think. The founders explained the inspiration of the jellyfish as “a loose network of nerves that act as a ‘brain’ similar to the way we envision loosely distributed networks of people coordinating via Jelly to help each other.” Essentially, the brain of the jellyfish is the answer a user receives as a result of the tentacles, i.e. the many different users and social networks.

How Does Jelly Work?

Users have the option of posing or answering questions. They will see questions from their followers, friends or friends-of-friends. If you have a compelling answer, you can comment on a question with text, an image or a drawing. Other users can mark your response as a “Good Answer.” Users are notified of this along with other recent news, in an activity log.

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Additionally, the user who initially requested advice can send thank you cards to those who sufficiently answered his or her question.

One caveat to keep in mind is that there is no search capabilities or filters on the app. Users cannot search for specific users or brands. They also cannot search or filter by topic. While users will see questions from brands they do not follow, there isn't a way to search for a specific brand. Users can share links to questions outside of the app, allowing them to share questions with friends they believe could answer the question. It allows brands to promote their questions across multiple channels.

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Whole Foods has posed several questions to Jelly and has received a fair amount of responses.

Marketers Using Jelly

Several brands have already delved into the Q&A realm that Jelly provides. Brands such as Lowe’s, GE, Kenneth Cole, Whole Foods and Ben & Jerry’s were among some of the first brands to both ask questions and answer relevant questions.

CNN IReport took advantage of Jelly in order to engage users in a new way. In anticipation of President Obama’s State of the Union address, CNN IReport asked followers what they hoped the president would address during his speech. They posted a picture with a fill-in-the-blank question, so users could utilize the drawing tool to write in topics. The #CNNSOTU hashtag used on Twitter was also cross-promoted on Jelly.

CNNSOTU

Jake Tapper, the CNN Anchor who posed the question, promised to use some of the answers during the on-air State of the Union address. The post has received over 100 responses ranging from serious topics such as the NSA and education, to more humorous subjects such as twerking and Angry Birds.

Instead of trying to solicit responses, Lowes is answering questions. The brand displayed its expertise in the field of home improvement by responding to a user asking how to mount items on a brick wall.

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Outside of posing questions and receiving responses, Jelly inhibits a greater dialog between fans and brands because the individual who posted the question is unable to comment on or respond to answers.

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Hold the Jelly, Please.

My first impression is that the platform is pretty clunky and the limited, er.. non-existent, search and filtering capabilities makes for an unfriendly user-experience. At least the function of the network is in focus. The platform does have potential but to survive as a social network, it simply needs to be more social.

Do you think Jelly has staying power or will only last as a trend? Could you see your brand taking advantage of this Q&A platform? Let us know in the comments below.


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Comments
  • http://www.jeromepineau.com/ JeromePineau

    No because as you point out, engagement is capped -- what's more the overall platform topicality is very limited. Lots of nonsense in there...

  • Jessica Bedussi

    Thanks for your input, Jerome. I agree that there is room for
    improvement and additions within the app. With the brainpower behind the brand and a few tweaks, Jelly could become a platform to rival the leading networks.

  • http://www.jeromepineau.com/ JeromePineau

    well it can't be much worse than Quora I suppose - i keep trying new Q&A apps as they come out but haven't caught anything worth keeping yet -- there's always Reddit AMA :)