Community App Is the New Twitter for Celebrities
Social media changed the way we interact with celebrities. Now it's changing again.
In the nearly fifteen years since Twitter first launched, the platform has become responsible for launching a social media culture that largely dissolved the barrier between celebrities and normals. As Fast Company‘s Jeff Beer put it, “I’m on Twitter. Amy Schumer’s on Twitter. You’re on Instagram. The Rock’s on Instagram. We’re all equals, mixing it up in the marketplace of ideas. It was the first time a two-way conversation was even possible between movie stars, artists, pro athletes, and their audiences.”
At the dawn of a new decade however, celebrities are looking to rebuild that barrier — in part, anyway — which is why, according to Beer, many of them are ditching Twitter in favor of a new app called Community. The text-based platform allows celebrities to interact and communicate with their fanbase in a more intimate way than on Twitter and Instagram, letting registered fans to receive direct messages from their favorite celebrities and public figures.
Founded by Matthew Peltier, the platform first attracted attention back in January 2019 thanks to Ashton Kutcher, whose Sound Ventures is an investor in the startup. The company now boasts about 500 A-list celebs — called “community leaders” — from Paul McCartney to the Jonas brothers to Amy Schumer, as well as a waiting list of tens of thousands.
Along with offering celebrities a direct line of communication with their fans, Community also helps celebs weed out the trolls and haters that have long been an inevitable part of the social media landscape. Unlike public platforms like Twitter and Instagram, Community allows celebrities to engage with a filtered, curated assembly of fans only. Stars are also using the platform to help alert fans to events and shows in their specific cities — something that’s much harder to do with a public tweet going out to hundreds of thousands of followers.
“Having a database of fans we can access directly is the best reason,” Kevin Jonas told Beer. “We need that for everything from releasing new projects, to selling tickets, to any call to action that will engage our fanbase.” Back in September, Jonas used Community to invite a few thousand fans to a secret show at a small club following a Jonas Brothers concert at Chicago’s 23,500-capacity United Center.
While Community launched as a place for celebs for reclaim some privacy after nearly two decades of publicly interacting with their fan bases, the app’s founders said they plan to broaden Community’s reach to writers, churches, community organizations, and other public figures as well.
“We wanted to really start with culture because I think it’s something that really moves people, that they care about, that they’re motivated by,” said Peltier.
“We’re really happy and we’re very blessed to have those massive, incredible big talents,” said Guy Oseary, music manager and Kutcher’s investment partner in Sound Ventures, “but we’re equally as excited to have a lot of artists that have a smaller fan base, using it as they go city to city.”
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