The fingerprints of Creative Artists Agency (CAA) are all over WhoSay, a third-party app that is quietly becoming the go-to social media intermediary for A-list celebrities like Tom Hanks, Ellen DeGeneres, and Sarah Silverman. In large part because the LA startup pays users for transmitted photos, video, and other content.
The application was incubated at CAA and has since received $6 million in seed funding from a group of investors that includes Amazon and High Peak Ventures. For a piece on AllThingsDigital.com, Silicon Valley based business reporter Liz Gannes spoke this week with WhoSay CEO Steve Ellis. Even though WhoSay has only a few hundred users, the combined Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Myspace reach of its membership exceeds half a billion followers and friends:
“This will never be a consumer application,” Ellis said, though he added that he can’t exactly specify the criteria for admitting WhoSay users…
WhoSay does advise stars to post their own updates, but Ellis says he always tells them “Authenticity doesn’t mean you have to tell people what you had for lunch.”
Ellis indicates to Gannes that the next big step for the 18-month old firm will involve adding a major, integrated advertising partner. He sold his previous company, Pump Audio, to Getty Images.