Taylor Swift will shutter freemium mobile app
- Singer Taylor Swift is the latest celebrity whose mobile app is being shut down. "The Swift Life," developed in partnership with freemium game developer Glu Mobile, announced in a tweet that the app is no longer available to download and will stop working on Feb. 1.
- Current app users have until then to spend any virtual currency they accumulated to see exclusive content or to buy Swift-inspired emoji called "Taymoji." The announcement of the shutdown suggested the app's launch was tied in with the promotion of her sixth studio album "Reputation," for which her tour ended in November.
- "The Swift Life" users earned virtual currency in the form of music notes when they completed actions such as "liking" user posts or sharing them in the app, which acted like a social network for fans. Users could level up more quickly to unlock Taymoji packs by paying for virtual guitar picks with real money or by watching video ads, MarketWatch reported.
The shutdown of Taylor Swift's mobile app is the latest sign that the craze for celebrity apps has run its course after several years of popularity. Glu Mobile didn't list the app among its top performers in Q3 2018, when its bookings hit $100.7 million, according to a presentation to investors. "The Swift Life" likely generated less than $300,000 during the three-month period, given that Glu's chart of top apps cuts off at that level.
While Glu's celebrity game apps such as "Britney Spears: American Dream," "Katy Perry Pop" and "Nicki Minaj: The Empire" also weren't listed among the company's top apps, the "Kim Kardashian: Hollywood" game app, first released in June 2014, posted bookings of $7.1 million during the quarter, making it one of Glu's top-performing apps. However, the Kardashian-Jenner sisters this year shut down their non-game apps that showed exclusive content not available on other social platforms like Instagram, Twitter or Snapchat.
The shutdown of Swift's mobile app — along with those of the Kardashian-Jenner sisters — suggests that celebrities are more focused on developing their networks on social media platforms, which have stepped up their advertising and commerce functionalities. Notably, Snapchat last year expanded commerce to let influencers earn money from products sold through their posts. The platform's partnership with Kylie Jenner gave her Kylie Cosmetics brand easier access to consumers without requiring them to download a specific app.