These days it is pretty easy to keep tabs on your favorite celebrity, musician, or author. All you have to do is follow them on Facebook…and Twitter…and Instagram… and their blog. I mean, it isn’t that hard (#firstworldproblems), but it can still sort of start to feel like a full time job sometimes keeping up with all your favorite people. But not with Neil Patrick Harris. Harris has released an app called “I Am Neil Patrick Harris,” which puts his Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook feeds all in the same place for your accessing ease.
And it isn’t only Neil Patrick Harris that is capitalizing with this new application. Since its 2017 launch, IAm has made more than 250 celebrities their own personal apps, including Bill Maher and James Corden. More than simply a social media aggregator, very often these celebrities will post exclusive content to their apps, like impromptu live videos, and they will sometimes even select viewers to chat with via face-to-face streaming.
The one-stop-shop idea definitely has an appeal. Even though these social media sites do an okay job at creating algorithms to show you what you want to see, you still have to proactively turn on notifications if you want to closely follow a specific user. With this app, users receive alerts whenever their celebrity of choice is posting, and the self-selecting nature of the audience ensures that trolls popping in to say hello is a much rarer occurrence.
Due to the overwhelming popularity of the new concept, IAm has plans of taking it to the next level by adapting these celebrity apps into full on TV channels in the next six months. The company will be partnering with Samba TV, a content recommendation engine, to try and get this accomplished. The channels wouldn’t necessarily be exclusively the celebrity all the time. For instance, Harris, who would act as curator of his channel, might have a lot of showings of How I Met Your Mother and Doogie Howser in rotation but also things he enjoys and thinks that his fans might too.
“I don’t want it to be all content that I’m in. That’s what I always thought Twitter and Instagram were for, to be honest. I spend a lot of time saying, ‘Oh, this is a cool app,’ or ‘This is a cool gadget.’ So if you think what I find interesting appeals to you — magic documentaries, variety arts, circus stuff – you might like it.”
IAm’s vision: thousands of celebrity-curated apps and channels, each one tailored to a specific fanbase. A place for the hardcore fans to congregate and bask in all things Bill Murray, Brad Pitt, or Taylor Swift. It could be amazing and exhilarating, or it could be futuristically terrifying. Not sure.