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Comments By Celebs co-founders pull back the curtain on their Instagram empire

Gibson Johns
·5-min read

Tune into We Should Talk every Thursday, where In The Know’s Gibson Johns interviews your favorite celebrities and influencers. Subscribe to We Should Talk here.

If you’re at all interested in the lives of celebrities, then chances are you already follow Comments By Celebs on Instagram.

The ever-growing Instagram account, which currently boasts 1.6 million followers, was co-founded by Emma Diamond and Julie Kramer back in 2017, after a change in the app’s interface made it easier to see comments left by verified accounts. In the three years since, the Syracuse University alums have expanded the Comments By Celebs brand into a chart-topping podcast and adjacent Instagram pages that serve more niche fanbases — Comments By Bravo, Comments By Athletes, Comments By Bachelor and so on. Most recently, Diamond and Kramer joined forced with the Overhead LA team to launch Overheard Celebs, which posts fan-submitted stories about interactions with celebrities.

As pervasive as Comments by Celebs has become, though, Diamond and Kramer continue to stand behind a decision they made early on: They don’t want to be the faces of the brand that they’ve built, preferring instead to remain behind the scenes, refraining from posting about themselves and using their podcast to connect directly with their ardent fans.

For the latest episode of In The Know’s pop culture podcast, We Should Talk, Diamond and Kramer opened up about building their account all the while remaining relatively anonymous.

“We talk about the podcast audience as if they’re a person. We’ll be like, ‘Oh, my god. We have to tell them!’ We don’t know these people personally. Although I felt 100 percent confident in the decision to not show our faces and to keep our personal accounts private, I knew for a fact that it was stunting our growth in terms of a podcast audience, because people like to feel connected to a person,” Diamond told In The Know. “Audio is intimate, and I think people feel connected, but I know it’s not the type of audience we would have if we were constantly promoting ourselves. So, it’s even a better feeling knowing that they feel [close to us] without knowing us as well as they could.”

Listen to Comments By Celebs co-founders’ Emma Diamond and Julie Kramer’s full episode of We Should Talk below, and keep reading for highlights from the interview:

On refraining from making themselves the faces of Comments By Celebs: Emma says, “There was zero temptation. Like, less than zero. It’s so much our worst nightmare that the fact that both of us were on the same page was the biggest blessing.” Julie says, “As it grew, we just really liked being the business women behind the account. The account spoke for itself. There was never a question of, what are the reasons we’re in this for? As we grew and grew, we also saw other influencers and celebrities starting to grow and the effects of fame on them, and every single time that happened we were so, so confident in our decision to stay behind the scenes.”

On the state of celebrity in 2020: Emma says, “In a certain way, even just pre-corona, the whole wall of celebrity has been almost breaking down over the years. […] As social media started to become more popular, the idea of celebrities being untouchable also started to lower, because you realized they were much more like regular people. That’s been happening for a while. In a certain way, that’s been really great for some people — look at the Kardashians, who have been able to grow this empire. It’s been really damaging for others, because they don’t necessarily know how to do it and they can get themselves in trouble. In the very beginning of quarantine, the “Imagine” video kind of set the tone for the way people were viewing celebrities in this time. It was a very fine line of, yes, we’re all in this together, but no, we’re not, because you’re sitting at your $10 million house and I can’t put food on the table. […] Watching them navigate this has been really interesting.”

On how breaking down the Jordyn Woods scandal helped grow their podcast: Emma says, “I remember us emailing our producer at whatever time of night being like, ‘I’m sorry, but we have to come in. We have to do this.’ All of a sudden, the podcast was at No. 9 overall [on the Apple Podcasts charts]. This was very new for us! It was crazy. And then, what was so exciting is that, now when something like that happens… personally, what’s so hard to still wrap our heads around and very exciting is when people will message us and be like, ‘Oh, my god. I need an episode to come out.’ And we’re like, ‘You guys care? This is crazy!'”

On what the future looks like for the Kardashians after KUWTK ends: Julie says, “The beauty of the Kardashians is that there will always, always, always be something. We both felt like the show coming to an end was something we were expecting. We knew it was kind of approaching that time. So much of that has to do with just linear television and where certain programs live and the amount of money in streaming. We feel like there’s still the possibility that the show will come back, just in a different way. Even if they don’t live on any platform, they are everywhere. We’ll still have every drama that they get into and every relationship that they have and every major news story that involves them. What we’ll miss out on is the behind the scenes of those things.”

Watch our full interview with Comments By Celebs co-founders Emma Diamond and Julie Kramer below:

If you enjoyed this article, check out In The Know’s recent interview with Benito Skinner!

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