Four members of the Kardashian/Jenner family — Kim, Khloé, Kendall and Kylie — released mobile phone applications in the last month. Though the apps are very similar in structure, each provides an in-depth glimpse into the particular sister that it represents. For just $2.99 a month, fans can get fitness tips, beauty tips, fashion tips, live updates, Q&A’s and much more. Kylie’s app is by far doing the best, as it generated 1.75 million downloads in the first week according to Apptopia. The other three sisters have yet to surpass one million downloads.
Despite the new apps yielding much lower numbers and expected earnings than Kim Kardashian’s first mobile app titled “Kim Kardashian: Hollywood,” one has to wonder what the family is making off the products their apps endorse. Whether it is an outfit, beauty product, snack or household item, the Kardashians are plugging products left and right. They aren’t just promoting these things, though; you can follow links to purchase them instantly. You can “literally,” as the Kardashians love to say, buy a six-pack of Smartwater on Khloe’s app.
That’s just what the Kardashians do. While people often like to say they are merely “famous for being famous,” there are brains behind this reality television empire. “Momager” Kris Jenner’s business acumen has allowed the entire family to reap the benefits of “Keeping Up With The Kardashians.” It would be foolish for these women not to take advantage of the business ventures thrown their way, from perfumes and clothing lines to book deals and product endorsements.
These apps are more than just a marketing machine; they are also innovative and resourceful. When you have millions of followers on social media and a loyal reality TV fan base, it’s pretty clear people like to know what you’re up to. In that way, these apps are genius. The Kardashians/Jenners have more control over how they are perceived and what content about them goes live. Film producers can’t manipulate the sisters like they may on a reality TV show.
Along with this representational freedom, the apps provide lots of personal, behind-the-scenes footage about the sisters. Who knew Khloé loved Smartwater so much? The apps also humanize the sisters. For instance, Kylie posted she recently found out she was lactose intolerant while being pulled and prodded at by her army of hair and makeup artists. The concept of a glamorous Kardashian/Jenner having dairy-induced diarrhea is strangely endearing.
A concern generated by these applications is cultural. Why do we care so much about these celebrities that we want to watch them on TV, follow them on social media and download their apps? Honestly, why do so many of us know the Kardashians better than our nextdoor neighbors? We seem to be lured in by the spectacle of the splendor and opulence that these women embody. This cultural interest shows no signs of changing or slowing down, so this family needs to take a sip from the Fountain of Youth (not referring to botox or filler, as they have that already). Otherwise, we are going be bored silly when they go.