What I Learned from Kylie Jenner’s App

I know. I KNOW.

I basically hate that I’m even writing at all about anyone from the Jenner-Kardashian clan.

But here’s the thing: I want to be teachable. Always.

This means, sometimes, being surprised at where inspiration comes from. I certainly wasn’t expecting any kind of inspiration from reading this post on why Kylie Jenner’s app (there’s an app for that?) is worth the price. I’m actually not sure why I read the piece. Maybe just to see what in the world this app might DO. Or, being honest, to scoff.

My scoffing turned to surprised admiration.

(Again: I KNOW. But wait for it.)

The app essentially is an insider pass to Kylie’s life. From her beauty routine to her music to up to a private livestream, the app is a fangirl’s dream.

Want to know how she gets her signature hair & makeup (with the help of about 20 people)? There’s an app for that.

Want to take a peek into her fashion? There’s an app for that.

Want to know what Kylie listens to? There’s an app for that.

Want a private livestream? There’s an app for that.

Want to know who Kylie thinks are deserving up-and-comers? Yep. That too.

I am NOT the target market for this app. Not even close. But as I read this piece, I found myself warming with a familiar feeling: curiosity.

I think way too often we don’t think about curiosity enough. I am not interested in Kylie Jenner’s makeup or clothes or music. I think it’s really great that she highlights people who are on the way up but aren’t there yet. But when I got to the private livestream, I realized the genius.

Whether it’s Kylie’s genius or that of her publicist or even just the product of a young person weaned on reality television and social media, platform builders everywhere can learn something from this app.

We downplay or forget about the curiosity that drives us to follow click-bait-y headlines EVEN WHEN WE KNOW THEY ARE CLICK-BAIT.

Our fingers start to twitch when we read headlines like “You won’t believe what his REAL job is!” Email subject lines that promise the 7 keys to productivity make us wonder if we know all seven or just six. Reality television in all its iterations is still around for a REASON: we are naturally curious.

What if, as bloggers and writers, we gave this kind of insider’s look for our fans?

What if we asked our fans what they really wanted from us and then gave it to them?

What if we pulled back the curtain and were vulnerable?

The thing about this Kylie Jenner app is that she exposes her vulnerabilities here. She shows her face without its signature heavy makeup. She goes off the cuff in live streaming videos that become permanent fixtures for app-users.

And- GASP!- she shares the spotlight by turning it on not-yet-famous makeup artists and people in her business. Not just a mention: videos and Q&As with them. Now, if it turns out they are paying for those slots, I’m wrong, but from the description of this whole thing, she highlights people she truly admires.

What if we were more vulnerable? What if we gave people a look (as far as we are comfortable) into our daily, normal routine. What if I showed you how messy my house is when I sit down to write a blog post? What if I told you where I bought the pajamas that are my writing uniform? What if I shared the scribbling in the notebooks that are open in various rooms all around my house?

I think the explosion this year of live-streaming has only proved my point. We are voyeurs who want to step a little closer. We want to get the inside look and then talk to you about it. We want to be invited into the inner circle.

I don’t have millions of fans like Kylie who would buy an app. That’s not the point.

The point is that when you DO have fans, those fans long to be brought a little closer. They are curious, just as you and I are curious. They want to see behind the curtain, even if just a little bit. Even if we are way more buttoned up than Kylie Jenner ever was or ever will be.

I think her app is genius for her brand. (Which is herself.) And I think that, much to my surprise, I can learn something from someone who is famous only because someone else in her family got famous because her friend was famous.

I am reminded how important it is to invite your fans to come in, sit down, and stay awhile. To be unpolished and unabridged sometimes.

And above all, I am reminded of the power curiosity holds.

A lesson learned from a celebrity I don’t follow and an app I won’t buy?

Well played, Kylie Jenner.

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