CANNES, France—Kim Kardashian West does Instagram her way, and that means no paid promotions and admittedly too many bikini shots.
"But it's what I want and what I put out," Kardashian said of how she curates her photo stream. She was speaking in front of an intimate audience today at the Cannes International Festival of Creativity.
This was Kardashian's first time at the annual creative gathering in the south of France, and she spoke about her autobiographical mobile game (the focus of our March 2 cover story), social media habits and how to cultivate a brand, about which the self-made celebrity is an expert.
Kardashian's talk came on the same day her mobile game scored a sponsorship deal with Karl Lagerfeld, which her gaming partner Glu Mobile announced. But she was openly pitching more fashion and beauty brands to get in on the action.
The game, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, was a surprise hit this year, and now has a million daily players with tie-ins to her reality show and real life. (Adweek selected Kim Kardashian: Hollywood as Hottest Game on our annual Hot List.) Her husband, musical artist Kayne West, nudged her toward the initiative with video game maker Glu Mobile.
"I thank Kanye every day for making me do that deal," Kardashian said.
The game is an obsession for some, and she envisions more chances for brands to promote to girl gamers, for whom Kardashian is now an unlikely role model and a rare feminist voice in the male-dominated genre.
The game, which simulates rising through the ranks of stardom, keeps pushing out updates. Soon, her glam team will make a virtual appearance, opening new branding potential, Kardashian said.
"It helps with great opportunities for brands, hair care lines or makeup lines, that want some involvement, because that's something the player really enjoys learning about," she said.
Kardashian also talked about her social media obsession and admitted occasionally reaching out to Twitter or Instagram to offer advice. She even pushed Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom to allow editing on posts because she kept making typos.
"I'm not saying it's because of me, but it happened," she said, recalling the app change that eventually rolled out.
Kardashian also said that these days, "I'm really into Twitter," talking about her evolving tastes.
She used to just repurpose Instagram photos for Twitter, but the micro-messaging company approached her with a lesson in best practices. Twitter told her, "People don't really click on your links as much" as they do photos taken directly in Twitter.
She said her Instagram feed is off limits, a no-promo zone. If she does take photos with a product it's not because she gets paid, she said.
"I know a lot of my brands might get frustrated that I don't promote maybe as much as they would like, but I only do it if it's authentic," she said.
Kardashian opened her talk with a personal experience at Cannes. She was awoken in the middle of the night by a naked woman trying to get into her room using a credit card as a key.
It seemed to be an honest if not drunken mistake, and yes Kardashian got it on video but said she would not be posting that one to Twitter.