Indian celebs hop onto apps bandwagon

By Natalia Ningthoujam

New Delhi, Aug 10 (IANS) Actors Alia Bhatt, Sonam Kapoor, Shilpa Shetty, Taapsee Pannu, Sunny Leone and singer Shaan are some of the stars who have their own apps despite being active on social networking sites like Twitter and Instagram. The latest to join the list is actor-producer Shreyas Talpade, who feels a personal app is almost like inviting someone over to your home.

Shreyas recently announced that he will soon launch an app to connect with fans, share acting tips and find talent for his next venture. But why an app when there are already so many social networking sites?

"A personal app is almost like inviting someone over to your home. You chat with them, communicate, get to know how they are, you try to understand them and they try to understand you, they get to know you better," Shreyas told IANS.

"You make sure they have everything they need. Essentially, all the things I've wanted to do for a while. I think this is a great medium for that intimacy."

Monetisation, he feels, comes much later.

"For example, on my app, I'll have auditions for films I'm going to be a part of. There have also been people asking me for acting tips that I can share with them. This app has various sections that people can discover - a section where they can audition, share any ideas they have with me, brainstorm with fans or people who are writers.

"The options are endless when you have a personalised app. There is also going to be smaller shows on my app. When I got into production I did it because I believed in a story. Similarly, here is a platform where I can do the things I personally believe in. I won't feel the need to look for other platforms."

Shreyas thinks there is a level of independence and freedom you get with such a forum.

"It's not just about posting pictures, videos or funny content. While that will happen, people will also get to know me and my personal life better. There are a lot more concrete and substantial plans I have for this app of mine," he added.

While his app has a lot to do with his profession, Shilpa's app is more about guiding her followers about health and fitness.

For actress Sunny Leone, in the digital world, content is the king. "If you can provide exclusive content to your fans on your own platform then yes it's more profitable. At Suncity (her company Suncity Entertainment Private Limited), we believe in using all social platforms for different things. It is user friendly because it's created by you," she told IANS.

Shaan's app helps him to connect with a small but very specific community of his ardent fans and well wishers. "I go 'live' with (them) once a week (Sundays mostly) and take all their questions and song requests. It's a no holds bar chat, where I don't need to be worried about trolls etc," he told IANS.

"The idea is to make a special place for my special fans. There is no monetisation or profit making in it," he added.

Taapsee had come out with her own mobile application last year.

"It wasn't really on my to-do list when Escapex approached me and asked if I will be interested in getting an app made for myself. Delving further in it, I realised it's probably an exclusive way of connecting with people who really wish to see the real me," Taapsee had said.

"I get this question many times from people that what kind of a person am I in real, so I thought this will be a nice way for people to connect with me as an individual. Looking forward to connecting with some genuine people and not fake accounts, unlike on social media," she added.

The craze for celebrity apps is not limited to just silver screen stars. Even telly stars are into it to treat their fans via their own apps.

"Uttaran" actress Rashami Desai feels that in today's time, social media is very powerful.

"Also, I feel through my own application I am able to connect more with my fans. I can answer their queries in more detailed way."

--IANS

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