By now, we’re all pretty accustomed to the Twitter capacity whale. What would you do if the whole network crashed tomorrow? How would you reconnect with your followers? Don’t worry, producer/hip-hop artist Jermaine Dupri has asked the same thing. His solution, along with several other boldfaced names, is to take control and create his own niche online social network.
- Lady Gaga, who leads the way on Twitter (20.8 million followers and counting!) is using a tech start-up, Backplane (in which she’s personally invested) to launch LittleMonsters.com. The site is still in beta, but when it launches fully, it’ll function as a Gaga-centric social media platform. Users can create profile pages and @littlemonsters.com email accounts, while sharing photos and videos.
- HelloGiggles might look like a typical editorial site aimed at a younger female demographic, but it’s helmed by Zooey Deschanel, and most of the content is user-generated. Among its main purposes? To leverage Deschanel’s star power with marketers more efficiently (and lucratively) than normal social media allows.
- Jermaine Dupri is partnering with iCrossing to work on a social media strategy to incorporate into Global14, his site for fans. Dupri uses the venue to blog about fashion, cars, and the ladies, while also allowing his audience to contribute content to the site.
There’s no advertising on Global14 yet, but there will be soon. (Banner ads dotting the site entice potential marketers to click and learn more.) The marketing potential seems to be at the core of emerging celebrity-branded social media. Though these individual sites attract a far more niche audience than, say, Facebook, if their leading celebs can get a decent-sized portion of their fans to convert, they could pull in substantial ad revenue. And that will be the best way for celebs to appeal to fans while taking financial control of their social media influence.