Justin Bieber, most recently in the news for shimmying out of a Brazilian brothel in a white blanket like some sort of damn perverted Casper the Ghost, is the “lead investor” for Shots of Me, a new social app aimed at teens. Fortune reports that the angel-voiced swag demon led a $1.1 million seed round for Shots of Me, which is helmed by RockLive, a mobile gaming team based in San Francisco. Boxer Floyd Mayweather is also an investor. It’s weird.
Not much is known about Shots of Me, which will launch on Apple for iPhone and iPad later in November, but RockLive CEO John Shahidi told Fortune the new network will not involve gaming. I have a terrible suspicion that it will involve selfies in some way, since that’s what the name suggests and it’s aimed at teens, but I suppose we will just have to wait and see.
Justin Bieber doesn’t have experience as a lead investor, but he does have tremendous social media influence, so Shahidi may be hoping that Bieber’s clout (and, ugh, Klout) will help propel the fledgling network. With over 46 million followers, Bieber is second only to Katy Perry when it comes to Twitter popularity, and his young fan base could send Shots of Me to the top of the list in the iTunes store. We’ve already seen how celebrity endorsements can boost growth rates for newer social networks — after the entire Kardashian Klan inexplicably (cough probably got paid cough) endorsed video-sharing app Keek, it saw an upshot in users. Then again, Keek is overshadowed by Vine and Snapchat and Instagram and other video-sharing platforms, so it’s one thing to get a boost from a celebrity but another thing to secure a place in the social media pantheon (I hate myself for writing that) on the strength of a celebrity endorsement alone.
RockLive’s other ventures, simple but addictive branded mobile games centering on famous athletes like Usain Bolt and Chad Ochocinco, were both successful and cool, with excellent social integration, so I wouldn’t write Shots of Me off just because the Canadian kinderdouchen is involved. Although I would write it off if it’s an app devoted to selfies because WHY.
By Kate Knibbs