After a year during which Taylor Swift was nowhere to be found, Taylor Swift is suddenly everywhere: on demand on DirecTV, on the sides of UPS trucks, and now, in the App Store.
Her new app The Swift Life is a partnership with Glu, best known for cash-grab celebrity mobile games like Katy Perry Pop, Britney Spears: American Dream, Nicki Minaj: The Empire, and the crown jewel, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood.
Glu CEO Nick Earl referred to her app as “a new digital entertainment project,” and “a deeply social environment,” but a press release didn’t give any further details. From the announcement video, it looks like a social platform for Taylor Swift fans, with design elements borrowed from Instagram, Tumblr, and pop-up ads for mobile games circa 2006. Honestly, it looks a lot like the absolutely bonkers app that actor Jeremy Renner released earlier this year. And similarly, it promises “exclusive” content and photos and direct engagement with Swift. (“Taylor can see, like, and comment on posts!”) Swift will also apparently be launching her own set of emoji stickers called “Taymojis.”
There’s no indication of whether fans will make in-app purchases on The Swift Life. We’re talking about a businessperson who incentivized merch sales by pairing them with Ticketmaster “boosts” for #VerifiedFans, but we’re also talking about a musician who already spends what must be hours per day watching her fans’ Instagram Stories and engaging with their Tumblr posts. Maybe this is little more than a time-saver for her. Either way, it feels like it was inevitable. Last year, following Rihanna’s Samsung-branded promotional app for Anti, Hazel Cills wrote for MTV News, “If fans go directly to Taylor Swift’s social media accounts, like Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr, for her posts, someone with her cultural capital forgoing a presence on those sites and creating a personal digital platform hardly seems far-fetched.”
The announcement video was published to Swift’s YouTube account, and features some blurry handheld video of her saying, “I think you guys are really going to like this. I mean, I hope. It would be preferable if you did.”
The Swift Life is set to launch in beta sometime in late 2017.