“5 Minutes With” Jeff Gentile from Grollow

Each week on “5 Minutes With,” our host Wes Benwick talks to experts in the media industry. Today, Wes talks to Jeff Gentile from Grollow. Grollow is a social media app that will allow group chats to be followed by willing subscribers. To learn more about this new app, visit www.grollow.com.

Interviewee’s Name: Jeff Gentile

Company: Grollow

Website Address: www.grollow.com


Tell me all about Grollow and what it is. It stands for group follow, has something to do with text messaging and following group text. But I think you’re going to probably clue me into more about what this new marketing tech is all about.

Absolutely. I would even say it’s gonna be a little bit less marketing tech, less smart tech, and it could be a little bit more social media. Actually had a great conversation with Mike last night talking to him about it and explaining it a little bit more to him. Picture Twitter right now on Twitter you can follow singular people at a time and it allows you to obviously talk at them but imagine if you’re ever able to follow your favorite groups of people. Your favorite teams, celebrities, political pundits, movie cast, et cetera. Where, if they ever had a group text everybody their fans would love to follow what is going on. And the Proof of concept really came out at one point was watching the NFL draft and then followed up past that. I just want to follow a group of the NFL draft experts and the week later I had heard Ryan on ESPN radio talking to Clay Matthews about their Green Bay Packer text and of course talking about the group text and how, well you know he ask them, who’s the one who gets in the barrel who’s going to get made fun of the most. And Ryan said and I quote, “Just let me and your group text I promise I’ll never say anything. I just want to follow along the line of listening to what you guys have going on.” I thought BAM. I was already partway in on it. I kind of started on it. I thought you know what. That’s what I’ve got to retire from corporate America and I’ve got to jump in on this in full force.

Well good for you. It’s really kind of a brilliant idea. Right. It’s a one to many way of broadcasting your message out on yet another medium. People’s favorite I’m probably more responsive myself on text messaging. I read more of my texts quicker than I do e-mails that does not mean overload me with text. But how does this really break down and work for people? Well, this means the person who’s sending out the message is using their phone or it’s actually subscribing to their Twitter feed, or what have you, and then pushing that message out to everyone who subscribe to that?

So that’s a good question. We’ve toyed around early on wondering if we’d be able to create the API and have it connect to Twitter or other just simple text threads and push through. But that would have been too many legalities too many really just pieces that would pull together to make that work. So we decided early on that we’re just going to make this its own thing. So it has its own app so you download it from the App Store. You’ve got the MVP working on right now and really what it’s going to be is, where an administrator sets up a group text where whoever that they want to text can go in there. I’m not into this stuff, but let’s say Kim Kardashian sets up a family group thread for them. So they’ve created a family group chat. That they’ve then posted. They would have that there where they’re able to talk to each other. Now the cool part to it is as they’re talking to each other everybody that’s following. We’re going to call them the Grollowers. They can all follow along down below and watch the threads tell them that they can never interfere or talk. So kind of also protects the celebrities it protects the group chats from having people being able to shout at them. The Grollowers can talk to each other but it never interrupts the actual flow of the group chat itself.

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