Q&A with: Comments By Celebs' Emma Diamond
Updated: Jun 12, 2019
When Paris Hilton subtly blasts her former bestie Lindsay Lohan on live television, people can expect that a shady Instagram post initiated by Lohan is soon to follow. How do people know this? It's because the Instagram account Comments By Celebs has been closely monitoring stars' activity and reporting on the exchanges to their massively growing audience. And in the world of Instagram where filters run rampant and photoshop precedes sentiment, it's almost as though the account introduced everything that was missing in Instagram -- credibility.
Not dissimilar from exchanging juicy screenshots between friends, pop culture followers can satisfy their gossip fix by simply following this one, epic account. And speaking of friends, that's exactly how the idea was founded -- by two friends, Emma Diamond and Julie Kramer, who broached a simple idea with fearlessness and tangible authenticity.
The idea flourished fast. With endorsements from A-list social media stars like Kelly Ripa, Erin Foster and Lisa Rinna, Diamond and Kramer's genius manifested into over one million followers less than two years after its 2017 inception. And while news sites continuously turn to the profile for the latest celebrity rapport and shade-throwing, it's the audiences at home who are still getting the biggest kick out of the Sunday night Teigen roundups.
Emma Diamond, one of the CBC co-founders, spoke with me about her and Kramer's journey to success and discussed the importance of remaining grounded.
How did you turn screenshots into a career? We never started it with the intention of it becoming our full time thing. It kind of just happened naturally. Julie was finishing college undergrad and I was in grad school doing a two year program and I was like, "Okay, I can finish my first year and then I have to defer because this is really starting to take off." We just felt like we had a real opportunity to take it to next level. We just kind of took a shot. I think a lot of the confidence came from the response we were getting and how fast it was growing. It was almost validating that it’s not just us who thinks there’s something here.
Why were people so quick to follow the account? People are inherently lazy. All of us. Yes, you can look at the comments yourself, but to be able to see them all in one place is really so convenient especially for people who are busy and want to get that pop culture fix without having to sift through it themselves. Also the simplicity of the idea -- it’s really pretty simple and people know what they’re getting when they come to our page. I also think part of it is that the climate we’re currently living in, things are so negative that to be able to have some lighthearted content is really uplifting and people view it as an escape. We get that a lot.
Do you feel pressure to be posting 24/7? Definitely. I think the biggest thing that happened to our account, which happened last year, was that we really made that shift from just humor to really an entertainment news source. A lot of our posts have major time sensitivity. [We're] really giving insight into pop culture. There’s a lot of pressure -- it can be anxiety inducing.
The caliber of celebrities who have endorsed you really speaks to your brand. Erin Foster, Kelly Ripa and Lisa Rinna are so down to earth -- just like the account. Is that a coincidence? That’s such a nice comment. It makes me happy that celebrities can recognize our voice and our mission. It’s never to shade them. It’s never to get them in this "gotcha" moment. And I think that those celebrities are also not like that have really grasped onto that and made an effort to understand the girls behind the brand. It speaks to their character. All of those people you mentioned have been incredibly supportive both publicly and privately to us.
What's your advice to those who have an idea they want to turn into a career? You have to trust yourself, you have to go for it. I know it sounds cliche, but we really only get one chance in this life to do something. Here’s the thing -- even if people aren’t as passionate as you are, they will recognize your passion and that makes it exciting. We get inboxes all the time that say, “I honestly don't watch the Kardashians, I don't care about pop culture, but you guys talk about it with such intensity and such a love for it, that it always makes me care.” Being able to [express] your passion is really important. Lastly, we try to be really kind with everyone we interact with, whether they’re a celebrity or a follower or whoever it is. You never know when your paths are going to cross again and I think just treating everyone the same is so important.
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