If you consider yourself a pop-culture savant, chances are you’re well-versed in the @CommentsByCelebs phenomenon.
Emma Diamond and Julie Kramer launched the Instagram account documenting celeb interactions on the social platform in 2017, and now that Instagram account has paved the way for a full-on media enterprise. They have since expanded their once-niche content into a series of accounts for specific, highly-engaged fandoms including @CBCAthletes, @CBCBravo, and @CBCYouTube. Not to mention they also have a hilarious podcast with equally hilarious celeb guests.
The duo has been very strategic with regards to the comments they do (and don’t) post, understanding the importance of relationships, brand tone, and future press partners. It would be all too easy to create a similar platform with catty commentary, further fueling internet trolls and cyberbullies. But that’s not what Julie and Emma are about. They genuinely want to highlight positive celeb comments, iconic clapbacks, and breaking news in a way that feels genuine to who they are. The self-proclaimed Bravo fanatics are not here for some flash-in-the-pan Instagram presence, they’re here to build a household brand where fandom and the world of celebrity intersects.
Tell us about the inception of Comments By Celebs. How did you get the idea to start the account, and did you ever think it’d get this huge?
I started the account in 2017, when Instagram initially changed the algorithm to highlight verified comments. Julie and I were fascinated by the celebrity comments we were suddenly seeing—constantly sending screenshots of the interactions in our group chat—so I knew we had to capitalize on it. I started the account, and asked Julie if she wanted to be my partner. She was the only person I’d want to do it with. I knew it was going to be big—I had the feeling from the beginning that we were on to something unique. Julie was a little more hesitant, but once she started to see the response, she came around. I don’t think either of us anticipated that it would turn into this..but we are so happy it did.
What has been your biggest opportunity or biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge is always curating the content in a way that is appealing to the largest audience. There are tons of comments that we hold off on posting, because they just don’t fit with the vibe we’re going for. It’s hard, because you’re never going to please everybody, but we try to balance it all in a way that feels right.
You break celeb news before a lot of media outlets. How do you beat them to the punch? What’s your process for sourcing comments?
While we are diligent in comment searching ourselves, we feel incredibly fortunate to have amassed a following of over 900,000 people who are equally as dedicated as we are. The second something big happens, our DMs are flooded with followers sending us “tips.” People always ask if we have a special program or process for finding comments. We don’t—just a good eye and a loyal fan base.
Where do you see Comments By Celebs in 6 months? A year?
We really see it continuing to become more than just an Instagram account, but a full blown brand. We are excited to take it multi-platform, and explore all of the different meanings that ‘comments by celebs’ can have. It’s been incredible to become such a legitimate source for entertainment news, as opposed to just humor, and we’re looking forward to continuing to grow that angle of our business. In a year, we want Comments By Celebs to be a household name—adored by celebrities as a positive way to better their image, trusted by publications to break stories, and loved by the public to keep them informed and laughing.
We have to ask: What’s your favorite celeb comment you’ve ever posted?
In September, we posted a Julia Roberts clapback that is easily our favorite. She was new to Instagram, and someone went off about how her ‘ugly black nail polish’ ruined the look. She was quit to correct them that her manicure was ‘actually navy, with garnet crystals as a grounding accent.’ In case they ‘wanted to edit their comment from ‘ugly black nail polish’ to ugly navy polish with garnet crystals.’ She then added a, ‘just sayin.’ It was iconic.
Whose career really inspires you?
Andy Cohen. Aside from just being Bravo enthusiasts, we both have so much respect for the way Andy’s career has evolved into what it is today. He really found an interest, and he capitalized on it. He understands what the people want, and executes it in a way that makes the content so enjoyable. Reality television speaks for itself in terms of it being entertaining, but there is no way Bravo would have taken off in the way it has if it wasn’t for Andy’s creativity and ability to form a community around the content. He’s aligned himself in a way that he can have an entire career outside of Bravo, while still being the face of it. That’s not an easy task, but he has accomplished it masterfully. He never takes himself too seriously, and in today’s world, that goes far. We always say, In Andy Cohen We Trust.
I knew it was going to be big—I had the feeling from the beginning that we were on to something unique.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Kelly Ripa gave us a really long talk about seizing our youth. She made it a point to convey to us that we are only this age once, and we should do everything we can and want to in this moment. She was so passionate in the way she spoke, and it really stuck with us. Kelly has been one of the kindest, most supportive people we’ve ever come in contact with, so we know she is genuinely looking out for us. For that, we are forever grateful and really value her advice.
What’s been the biggest surprise or highlight of your career to date?
We are always in awe when a person we admire is excited to meet us. We were in LA for business at the end of last year, and there were a couple of instances where we really had to pinch ourselves. Firstly, we met Eva Chen, Instagram guru/businesswoman/ fashion icon, in the airport. Having been following her for years, we of course went up to her to introduce ourselves and express our admiration. When we said we ran CommentsByCelebs, her excitement was palpable. Things similar to that started happening for the entirety of the trip, and we seriously felt like we were living in a fantasy. It was crazy that these people that we were so excited to meet, were just as excited to meet us. It’s still mind blowing to think about.
When you hit a bump or hurdle in your career, how do you find new roads + switch gears to find success?
We are constantly coming up with new ideas or angles that we want to take. Our creativity and the fact that we are in complete control has allowed us to test out new things, without the fear of failure or disapproval.
What are you most excited for in 2019?
Everything! As stated earlier, we really want to make CBC a household name—and we can’t wait for all the adventures we’ll be taking in the process of doing so.