Justin Bieber, like other celebrities, is showing the world that he is more than a heartthrob with an angelic singing voice — and is a snazzy businessperson, too. But are app investments like Shots paying off for Justin Bieber — or do they serve a higher purpose?
While many fans wondered if Justin Bieber was going to buy his chain of favorite restaurants, Tim Horton’s, a few years ago — he decided instead to follow a long list of celebrities that are investing in apps.
In early May, Fortune Magazine published an article where Jennifer Lopez asked investors to “join Jennifer Lopez — the brand.” Celebrities being used to endorse products is one thing, but Jennifer Lopez and other celebrities (like Justin Bieber) are taking this one step further.
Fortune says, “Like many entertainers these days, Lopez has used her high-profile status as a business asset.”
Like Justin Bieber, Jennifer Lopez is taking this asset of being high-profile to create a $1 billion business empire with a focus on startups like apps. Is this kind of return on investment in Justin Bieber’s future?
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, some celebrities like Christina Milian are only recently getting into the apps investing game. Justin Bieber, on the other hand, has been involved in app investing for over two years.
In addition to other startup investments, Justin Bieber’s joint venture with Floyd Mayweather appears to be his most prominent — but is it profitable?
Mashable stated in February that Justin Bieber and Floyd Mayweather fans should have been watching closely on May 5, 2012. It was at that time that Justin Bieber showed up at one of Mayweather’s big fights — and the future CEO of Shots, John Shahidi, was sitting ringside.
After getting introduced in 2012, Justin Bieber, Floyd Mayweather, and John Shahidi stayed in touch. In 2013, Shots (the app that combines some of the best features of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) was born — and investors like Justin Bieber were close behind.
The Daily Mail U.K. reported in mid-November, 2014 that Justin Bieber almost got out of the game when Shots almost sold to Twitter. At that time, they had raised $500,000 and Justin Bieber (who asked to be an investor) had invested $1.1 million.
Instead of selling, in April 2015, Shots chose to go beyond Justin Bieber’s money and get another $8.5 million in investing. Does this mean that Justin Bieber’s app investment is not paying off and that Shots is going to fall by the wayside — like MySpace did?
When interviewed by FOX Business, Shahidi showed why celebrities like Justin Bieber are so important to help them get off the ground. For instance, it may be no surprise that Justin Bieber’s Shots app currently has 80-percent female users with an average age of 16.
However, Shahidi goes on to say celebrity endorsements are over-rated, but celebrities like Justin Bieber being involved in products they actually love (and use) helps apps like Shots have continuous growth.
The Wall Street Journal goes on to explain that, while Shots is off to a good start with the help of Justin Bieber’s money and investment in endorsing the app — there is more territory to yet to cover.
The Wall Street Journal reported the following in April.
“For its next act, Shots is aiming to mature into more of a full-fledged social network. An update this week lets users upload three-second videos and find nearby friends using a ‘radar’ feature, helping Shots take on more popular social apps like Facebook, Instagram, Vine and Snapchat…. Shots also plans to release a selfie-taking app for the Apple Watch.”
But is this all about the profits for Justin Bieber and Shots CEO John Shahidi? After all, the Wall Street Journal states that, even though Shots is over two years old and has millions of users, “the company makes no revenue yet.”
As it appears, advertising will be incorporated in the future (and help Justin Bieber see a return on his investment) — but there is more to this app than making money.
In short, there is a positive anti-bullying intention behind the Shots app that celebrities like Justin Bieber are happy to get behind. In 2012, Justin Bieber made headlines with an anti-bullying campaign — and Shots may be an extension of that ethical cause.
When interviewed by TechCrunch in November 2014, Shahidi stated he liked his Shots app because the lack of a commenting features ultimately allows for promoting tolerance and anti-bullying.
Unfortunately, Shahidi stated, similar apps to Justin Bieber’s Shots allow hate messages and homophobic statements to be posted.
In a mid-December interview with Shahidi, The Street says the following.
“Shots… was designed to offer the virgin daiquiri equivalent of liquid courage for youngsters too intimidated by the prospect of nasty comments to post pictures of themselves. Unlike its predecessors in the social realm, Shots is a comment-free zone where you shouldn’t have to worry about mean-spirited remarks that make you feel insecure.”
Shahidi concluded with the following statement about the ethics behind Shots (that likely has Justin Bieber’s blessing): “There are three things you never want to be criticized: your face, your name, and your family members, because we were born with these three things.”
[Feature image via Getty Images.]