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Fanhouse: How Twitter Personalities Are Paying Their Rent

At Social Songbird we (Abigail Gamble and Adrienne Lucas) recently had the pleasure of interviewing two of the three co-founders of Fanhouse (@fanhouseapp); the app that's filling the gap in monetization for creators on Twitter. Twitter is one of the last major social media apps that does not provide a clear avenue for content creators to make money. The co-founder's Jasmine Rice, Khoi Le, and Jerry Meng are all recent graduates who met on Twitter. 

Jasmine has just under 100K followers on her main account @jasminericegirl. Having such a large audience can invite unwanted opinions from strangers and mass critique from followers who feel like they know you, and the air of intimacy that came with tweeting to 300 followers is dissolved. To correct this, Jasmine created a private alternate account so she could restrict who gets to follow her, and regain some of the freedoms that come with being just another face in the crowd. This became a 
space for her friends and mutuals, where she posted more personable and casual content without the looming presence of 88.8K followers ready to comment on jokes or personal experiences she posts.

The Fanhouse team saw a market for this when she began charging outsiders $7 for access to her alt, and earned $2,000 within the first two weeks. From this experiment, the Fanhouse app was born. As it turns out, a lot of popular creators miss the freedom of posting only to their inner circle and fans who appreciate them. 

Implementing some sort of paywall seems to work as a qualifier for real fans, and a barrier for anyone with ill-intent. It's difficult to get into the mindset of someone who would comment hateful things online, but if I had to guess, I'd say there's a window of nasty impulsivity that doesn't allow for the time it takes to grab a credit card and sign up for a subscription, which is likely one of the reasons content creators consider it to be a safe space. 

One creator on Fanhouse, Kels (keally22) said that as she grew a following on Twitter, she had to meticulously craft her content, and it became a major source of anxiety for her; "going from only being followed by friends I know in real life, to thousands to of strangers was very intimidating and a little scary." She added, "I became overly concerned with ensuring that my account was predictable, appropriate, and generic so that no matter who was following me, whether it was college students across the country or my grandma's neighbor, they would enjoy my account."

Another aspect of having a large following on Twitter that Kels experienced was the felt responsibility or pressure to perform. Fanhouse helped alleviate much of that for her. Her bio on Fanhouse is "if Twitter is a college discussion post, Fanhouse is my best friends group chat. Follow me here to see the things I want to post, but not to 16k people :)"

She says this is her fun way of saying that her Twitter page is well thought out , crafted, and relevant to everyone, while her Fanhouse is Kels uncut. Her "[Fanhouse] is more like me talking one on one with my followers and building a relationship and posting niche content that interests me and I love to talk about, but 16K people may not care to see," she said.

Just like your favorite TV and movie characters, with your favorite Twitter personalities you are invested in their lives, and you feel like you really know them in 280 characters or less. From "shower thoughts, unfiltered sh*t posting and felt-cute-might-delete-later selfies," Fanhouse is a platform where creators can connect with their followers on a more personal and light-hearted level, while getting paid for it - in Fanhouse's first month, they paid creators over $40,000. This app differs from other fan based apps like Patreon and OnlyFans, as it is not geared towards a certain type of content or identity, which goes with their notion of "uplifting any creator no matter how small."

With over 200 creators and 2,700 users in their very first month, we can expect a successful future for Fanhouse.

By Abigail Gamble and Adrienne Lucas

Abigail is a recent BA English graduate, who loves to travel and the theatre. 
Adrienne is a passionate writer with experience in editing, content creation, and social media marketing. A lover of animals, helping others improve their writing, and 2000s pop culture.    
Fanhouse: How Twitter Personalities Are Paying Their Rent Reviewed by Adrienne Lucas on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 Rating: 5
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