Jelly is the product of Twitter co-founder Biz Stone and has only been around for a few weeks, but brands are already using it and data on how it’s being used has been collected. It has been called the “new way to search”, but effectively it is just a question and answer service with an added pictorial feature thrown in.

The app, which is available on both iOS and Android, allows users to ask their network any question they like using a picture. Other people can then reply by writing their answer or by drawing on the original image with a freestyle  “Draw Something” feature.

When the app was first introduced, the Jelly blog informed us:

“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.”

Through Jelly, users can ask questions and receive answers from real people who together can use a collected knowledge to give the best answer rather than just googling your question and relying on a random source of information.

Robert Moore from RJ Metrics has analysed all the data from questions asked so far and has found that although over 100,000 questions have been asked, only 25% of them have been answered. Moore found the most common question was “what is this?”, which is quite logical due to the visual aspect of the app.

As with all social networks, brands are now jumping on the bandwagon to see how they can use Jelly to their advantage and engage with potential customers already using it. There are a few different ways that brands can get involved with the action such as:

Feedback

Customer feedback is vital for brands when deciding what products and processes could be improved. By asking their target market for feedback, they can ensure that they are creating and designing services and products that meet the needs of those that will use or buy them. This can range from something small like a new advert, to an entire product or tool. By gaining feedback from an audience you are also demonstrating transparency and will be creating a good relationship by showing how important their opinion is to your brand.

Customer Engagement

As Twitter has shown, more and more people are turning to social networks to ask questions or send comments to a brand about their product or service. As Jelly connects to existing social networks, brands can see questions that are being asked on Jelly by their existing online community and demonstrate themselves as a thought leader in their industry. By posting questions themselves, brands can encourage engagement with their community and continually build relationships that can help to build up their audience.

Promotion

If you are going to be launching a new product or service soon, what better way to generate some hype around it and begin the promotion than with some pre-launch pictures? By building up your brand champions, you will already have a ready and waiting audience who will help create a buzz around your launch. Use the picture function to send your community “teasers” and get them involved by asking them questions about what they think the launch could be for.

Industries that will really be able to utilise the app to their advantages, include those in the fashion, travel and food industries. By taking pictures of their products or locations, brands can really gain a lot of value from Jelly and encourage users to get involved and ask questions about a potential holiday they are planning or outfit they are looking to buy.

As with all new apps and social networks, Jelly does seem to suffer from a few teething issues that could really do with sorting ASAP. For a start, there does not appear to be even a basic search function, so if you want to find questions relating to a certain item or topic, it could be much harder to find something to get involved with. Another problem is that there doesn’t seem to be any spam filter or way to prevent people “trolling” on the app. Jelly allows links to be placed in both questions and answers which means the door is wide open for those just looking to engage in self promotion.

The future could definitely be bright for Jelly, it is just a case of seeing where the next step takes it and how brands begin to engage with the app. As with everything, the best uses are often just developed from users and there are many different ways that brands can get involved, they just need to jump straight in and find their feet.