Though Facebook — with some 1.3 billion users worldwide — remains the granddaddy of social networks, today’s social media users are migrating away from such big online communities and toward more stripped down, visual-heavy platforms like the photo-sharing site of Instagram, experts say.
One emerging social media application called Jelly allows users to upload a picture of something, say a flower, and ask a question, such as “What species is this?”
Jelly was mentioned at the recent South by Southwest conference in Austin by its developer, Biz Stone, who co-founded Twitter and also developed Square, the application that accepts credit card payments over smart phones.
A crowd-sourced search engine, Jelly was released in January 2014 by Stone and Ben Finkel and uses a Jellyfish for its icon (like the blue bird for Twitter). Jelly’s blog explains, “We chose the jellyfish to represent our product because it has 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.”
Stone says, “Our aspiration is to create a new way to search and to make it easy for people to help one another.” Jelly describes itself as changing “how we find answers because it uses pictures and people in our social networks.”
Playing up visual content
Photos are key. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google all are reworking their respective sites to give more preference to visual content, said Sarah Hoffman, marketing and social media specialist at Oklahoma Publishing Co.
“Attractive content captures the most attention, in the same way your social media platforms are representative of your business,” she said.