Jack Jia is a self-proclaimed serial entrepreneur and DYI-er. He has spent years building content management and discovery tools, as well as building things in his home and garden.
“I literally have a black notebook where I’ve written down hundreds of these tips that transformed my home life,” he says.
He wanted to share his tips beyond basic word-of-mouth, so in 2012, Jia merged his passions for content and DIY by developing Trusper, an app that enables users to share tips. Sure there are plenty of websites with DIY tips, how-tos and advice but these are most often produced by professionals. Instead, Jia wanted to tap into the knowledge of the community with an easy tool that allowed anyone to create and publish content.
He says that the beauty vloggers on YouTube are probably as close as you get to true user-generated how-to guides or tutorials. Still, the videos are often “too heavy” for mobile users, whose time is increasingly fragmented.
“People really want something they can consume in 30-seconds, maybe a minute,” Jia says. “So even a six-minute video is too long to get one idea.”
Instead, Trusper allows users to share and discover “bite-sized, authentic content.” And with the shift toward mobile, Jia says apps are an important part of this shift, and where consumers are spending more of their time. He acknowledged the possibility of “app fatigue” but says that the key is usefulness.
Indeed, Trusper was released the public in June 2012 but was in “stealth mode” until March of this year. Despite the stealth, Jia says Trusper has attracted more than 15 million users, who can save, like, comment, email and share content to a host of social networks. Trusper tracks a number of behavioral cues to measure engagement, and the content with the highest engagement bubbles to the top.
“Anyone can create content but not everyone can create good content,” Jia says.
This is particularly important as Trusper moves into the native advertising space, which Jia says is a natural fit given the prevalence of lifestyle content. However, even ads have to be presented as useful tips — and the community determines how good or useful the content is. Ultimately, sponsored content or not, Jia says every tip or set of tips has the same opportunity to become popular.
“If the tip is not attractive, people will just skip it. The algorithm detects the engagement and the bad ones sink, while the good ones flow to the top.”