There are rumors that Lady Gaga is one of the smartest superstars ever to walk the earth. An exaggeration? Maybe…but she does have a reported IQ of over 160, which puts her into genius territory. She’s turning her mind power to social networking. She has over 10 million followers on Twitter, 35 million “likes” on Facebook, and she is number one on Billboard’s Social 50, which ranks how popular people are on the trinity of social media: Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Not to be satisfied with being on top, Lady Gaga is planning to launch a social network of her own.
Backplane will be a social network for entertainers and celebrities, blending celebrity, music, and technology. Troy Carter, Lady Gaga’s business manager says, “Backplane will provide a platform and tools for communities to socialize and communicate on a more focused level. We needed a more concentrated base.” So, what will Backplane actually do?
Unlike Apple’s Ping, Backplane will integrate updates from Facebook and Twitter, as well as other social networking sites. The goal is for communities, which can range from Lady Gaga to the NFL to the Girl Scouts, to communicate seamlessly. CEO Matthew Michelsen says, “We’re a home page replacement.” The startup already has over $1 million in funds and partnerships with major Silicon Valley companies.
Is this one of the celebrity-owned businesses that is destined to go bust? Think Lauren Conrad, Paris Hilton, Heidi Montag…the list goes on and on. Global director of social media strategy research for Frost & Sullivan, Jake Wengroff, says, “Lady Gaga is different, as she is quite aware of the power of technology to drive interest in her music – while simultaneously netting her outsize returns.” Not everything will turn to gold, but enough will to make Lady Gaga a tremendous asset to any number of ventures.