Time Inc.’s People magazine is giving celebrities unprecedented access to its website—permitting them to post their unfiltered tweets and other content—through a partnership with startup WhoSay.
WhoSay helps celebrities control their social media presence and lists stars like Eva Longoria, Sofia Vergara and Tom Hanks among its members. Kevin Bacon professed his love of the app to Adweek, and Andie MacDowell had just started using it when we last spoke to her.
WhoSay’s content will have a dedicated channel on People.com, and the magazine's editors will have the opportunity to feature WhoSay’s content both online and in print. In addition, the latest news from People.com will be integrated into WhoSay’s "Top Stories." Advertisers, the companies said, will have the opportunity to simultaneously be associated with content created by celebrities, as well as "the authoritative and trusted editorial perspective that People brings to its celebrity content."
“We are excited that People is the first mass media brand to open its platform for celebrities to self-publish,” Liz White, vp and gm of People Digital, said in a statement.
The partnership was preceded by a similar—though more restrictive—arrangement with the Associated Press a few years ago. In that case, whenever a celebrity posted a photo or video to WhoSay, they were given the option to provide that content to APImages.com, which, in turn, could license it to media outlets. It allowed the celebrities to retain their copyright on the material.
The People partnership is in complement to WhoSay’s new invite-only publishing app for celebrities, which is designed to make creating and sharing content easy. This includes the so-called “talking selfie,” in which talent can add audio captions to their pictures as a way to talk directly with their fans.
“Now our celebrity members are able to publish directly into a mainstream publication just as they do with their social channels,” said Steve Ellis, CEO and co-founder, WhoSay.