Video: How Jelly works
How does Jelly work?
Jelly’s blog says the app was designed “to search the group mind of your social networks”. Users downloading the app must first link it to their social networks – either Twitter or Facebook.
They are then invited to “point, shoot, ask!” – by taking a photo with their smartphones and attaching a question (it also has the option of drawing on the image – to circle a particular part or underline a phrase, for example). The question is then submitted to the people in a user’s social network – and friends of friends – who also have Jelly and the user will be notified when they start receiving responses. They can also forward their question outside the app “to anyone in the world” via other social networks, email or SMS.
The aim of Jelly is also to “pay it forward” by answering the questions other users have submitted. Users flick through the current questions flying around the network using a swipe down motion until they come across one they feel they can answer.
Jelly combines the Q&A format of a site like Quora, with the transient nature of app of the moment SnapChat. It does not yet feature Jelly profile pages of each user, but when users click on the photo of a person who has asked or answered a question, they are pointed towards their Facebook and Twitter pages.
Why should marketers be interested?
It is merely day one for Jelly, but it has the potential to scale very quickly. Twitter launched Vine in January last year and by August it had already grown to 40 million registered users, with this number amplified by the amount of 6-second clips that go on to be shared via YouTube and other social networks.
Jelly differs from its sister app (or step-sister as it is being operated separately from Twitter) by tapping into the “disposable content trend”, according to We Are Social consultant Emma Gannon. “People want instant answers and entertainment and they’re not bothered about saving or storing content in the way they used to, which works for Jelly”, she adds.
Paul Armstrong, owner of Digital Orange Consulting, says Jelly’s potential to grow quickly is based on its strong relationship and social logins with Facebook and Twitter.
“Ultimately its simplicity is charming and speed is impressive but it must give the user value if they are to return and continue to use the service. Quora is a similar service but it required much more commitment from the user than Jelly and, if history is to be used, simplicity works well in the social and mobile spaces,” he adds.
How can brands add and gain value on Jelly?
Brands can use Jelly to provide a utility to customers and potential customers as by being helpful, brands can help create a good impression, according to Jonathan Waddingham, social and labs product manager at JustGiving.
He suggests Jelly could be useful for getting feedback on new designs, or for data capture through competitions – like Footlocker’s recent campaign where it posted a photo of a shoe on social media and users had to race each other to the location in the image to win the product.
Travel brands could also gain value from Jelly. Gannon says: “People are always looking for advice and assistance when travelling and brands could create new ways for fans to share their travel questions when staying in their hotels or using their services to travel to a particular location.”
She adds that one of Jelly’s most simple use cases could also be to engage in “brand-relevant banter” – with the added benefit of questions and answers reaching both friends and friends of friends, meaning it is possible to extend the reach of any engagements beyond a brand’s usual social audience and without the need to spend on advertising (yet).
Does Jelly have any wobbly bits brands should be concerned about?
As with any baby, Jelly is still finding its feet. And brands may currently find it difficult to connect with their desired audiences, according to Jed Hallam, head of social strategy at Mindshare.
He says: “There doesn’t look like there’s even a basic search function at the moment so unless the Jelly team has a way of mining data and picture content and serving that directly to the right brands it’s going to be hard from them to get involved, other than just through serendipity as it seems to be geared towards at the moment.”
Another issue for brands is that while Jelly could be a visually pleasing customer service platform, it’s not always brands giving the answers so it becomes as much a space to attempt to monitor as it is one to engage with.
“Jelly has become a risk as much as a tool,” Armstrong warns.