Decoding the Kardashian business model: What makes them so successful?Last updated on Jan 07, 2020, 01:08 pm
One disgruntled tweet by Kylie Jenner about Snapchat and its market value dips by $1.3 billion. This is what power looks like in the age of social media.
Love or loathe them, but there's no ignoring the Kardashians. No other family personifies mobile celebrity as they do.
Here we look at what makes them so successful and why their brand of fame is dangerous.
Beyond the sheen
Building a multi-billion dollar empire out of thin air
The Kardashian-Jenner family wasn't always TV royalty. They weren't born into stardom. They have carefully crafted it on scandals and decadence.
Kim Kardashian West, the starriest of them all with an enviable Instagram+Twitter following of 166.8 million, started as an extra, a hanger-on to celebs like Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan.
Wherever Hilton and Lohan are now, it's nowhere close to the indomitable Kim K.
K is the word
Being Kim Kardashian West
At 37, Kim's estimated net worth is $175 million. She owns a make-up brand, a perfume line and is the fifth most followed person on Instagram worldwide.
She also has an app 'Kimojis' and a game 'Kim Kardashian: Hollywood', which earned $1.6 million in its first five days.
Her big break was an adult tape with Ray J, allegedly leaked by her own mother.
Keeping Up with the Kardashians and beyond
Their reality show 'Keeping Up with the Kardashians' premiered eight months after the tape leak.
Though severely panned by critics, it's currently in its 14th season and still going strong. The salacious reality TV series made instant celebrities of the sisters - Kourtney, Kim, Khloe, Kendall and Kylie - who didn't have any discernible talent but were still celebrated, for being in spotlight.
Kendall + Kylie
The Jenner sisters
After Kim, the Jenner sisters are the most popular in the family. In 2017, Forbes ranked Kendall the world's highest-earning model and named Kylie the youngest high-earning celebrity.
Together, their estimated net worth is $68 million.
Kylie owns cosmetics and apparel brands but is the most-known for undergoing a complete facial transformation at 16. Kendall, meanwhile, is counted among the top international supermodels today.
The self-made royalty
Staggering social media presence
The Kardashian-Jenner women are beyond bad press now. Their 621.82 million followers on Instagram+Twitter make them the world's most powerful social media influencers.
At 17.38 million likes, Kylie's baby name-announcing photograph is the most-loved Instagram image.
Of the 10 most-liked Insta pictures of all time, three are Kylie's and one Khloe's. If social media is the new religion, the Kardashian-Jenner sisters are its goddesses.
Kardashians represent an America gone horribly wrong
This is exactly why the Kardashian brand of celebrity is dangerous. Allowing cameras in their beds/toilets, they celebrate unbridled narcissism, decadence, hunger for money/fame and perpetuate unrealistic beauty standards.
That they are so overwhelmingly adulated is worrying. America has already seen what happens when a reality TV star is given such power. It simply cannot afford to do a Trump all over again.