The field is hot, but hard to break into. Arguably, the only ones that have really succeeded are those based around games, e.g. Kim Kardashian: Hollywood and Britney Spears: American Dream. Both apps were created by mobile-gaming company Glu and made a killing with their in-app purchases. Now, Glu’s newest foray into the field is pop star Taylor Swift’s latest attempt to stay relevant: The Swift Life.
The app, however, does not follow in its competitor games’ footsteps at all.
The Swift Life, which Glu CEO Nick Earl called “a deeply social environment” in a press release, seems to have more in common with Jeremy Renner’s app, Jeremy Renner—which is still a bit of an enigma—as it promises “exclusive” Taylor Swift content as well as direct engagement with the singer herself. Notably, Swift has recently upped her engagement with fans on social media, which may be a way of incentivizing them into moving to the app once it’s released.
The app also touts “Taymojis,” and seems meant to be an app version of an online fan forum, as it provides the basic functions of all other major social apps (Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter) for a solely Swift-based discussion.
The announcement comes after a long stretch of silence and then bad publicity for Swift, as her new album, Reputation, and its teaser single, Look What You Made Me Do, were largely met with derision and her consequent attempts at PR rehabilitation seemed to come from a misunderstanding of why her image has been in flux.
Needless to say, The Swift Life doesn’t look like it’s going to help. This isn’t the kind of app that anyone’s ever really clamored for—let alone the kind of app that does well—and seems tone-deaf in light of the questions that still exist as to the old (“dead”) and new Swift. Maybe this really will help fans to connect, maybe it won’t, or maybe it’s Becky.
We’ll have to wait and see.