Only in 2010: Celebrities on Foursquare
MTV and VH1 recently announced a partnership with Foursquare allowing their celebrity personalities – most from reality show programming – to share their location with followers. Each time a celebrity visits a location, they can choose to share this information with not only their friends but fan followers as well.
The term “celebrity” is being used very loosely in this case since the personality headlining this new partnership is DJ Pauly D from MTV’s Jersey Shore. It’s now possible for his fans to know when he’s going to the gym, going tanning or doing laundry.
The initiative between MTV, VH1 and Foursquare serves as a reminder of how social media has changed the way constant accessibility and interaction is viewed. Only three years ago in 2007, Jimmy Kimmel interviewed Gawker editor Emily Gould and criticized the “Gawker Stalker” feature on the Web site. Sparked by sharp criticism from George Clooney, Gould appeared on CNN to defend the site. (Watch the entire interview here on YouTube. It’s seriously entertaining.)
Essentially, the stalker feature allowed visitors to e-mail the site when they spotted a celebrity. Within hours, sometimes minutes, people were able to know where their favorite celebrity just ate lunch.
Sounds familiar doesn’t it?
At the time, Kimmel was outraged that a celebrity’s privacy could be invaded by having his or her whereabouts reported hours later on a Web site. Given the explosion of celebrity “oversharing” on Twitter today, his criticisms from 2007 now seem downright naive.
To be fair, the Gawker feature relied on unverified tips from others rather than information provided by the celebrity him or herself. Foursquare users provide their own whereabouts.
But even on Twitter, non-celebrities can always tweet when they’ve seen a star at the local Starbucks. This information is available within minutes, even seconds. While the idea of having constant access to the everyday lives of celebrities seemed outrageous and invasive only three years ago, it’s now completely normal.
The partnership between MTV and VH1 only includes the pseudo celebrities who populate reality show programming like Jersey Shore, The Hills and The Real World. We’re not talking about George Clooney or Jimmy Kimmel who, not coincidentally, neither have personal Twitter accounts. Still, the union between Foursquare an MTV and VH1 solidifies social media’s status as an impetus for cultural shifts.
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