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Is SMS the New DM? Why Celebrities Are Texting Their Fans

Have you noticed the trend of celebrities sharing their phone numbers on social media? Learn about why they're doing this and how it's not actually a scam.

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Celebrities once felt unreachable. Lightyears away behind glossy paparazzi photos outside mansions in the hidden hills of L.A. That is, before social media made it possible to feel like you’re a part of their everyday routine.

You can follow them along on every lavish vacation, dinner party, and mundane salad break on gold-plated Cartier dinnerware. And as more and more celebrities document their every move on social media, comments and DMs (direct messages) bring us mere mortals closer than ever to communicating with them.

People want to be noticed by these stars, and these channels make them feel like they have a shot.

So when a few big-name stars started tweeting and posting things like this:

Thousands of eager fans reached out in the hopes of actually getting through to their idols.

Are Celebrities Really Giving Out Their Number?

In a way, yes. Not their personal number, but a number that belongs to them and that a person can technically reach them through. If you’re a business who utilizes text marketing, you’re already familiar with how this works.

When you text a celebrity’s “number,” the chances are high that you’ll receive an automated message from them. Because mass texting has rules and regulations, that initial greeting will most likely include information about terms and conditions, and data rates applying.

While this boilerplate message may be a little deflating if you expected Ashton Kutcher to reply back with a personalized greeting, it’s actually a positive indicator.

You may not be virtual pen pals, but you’re also not involved in a scam.

These new celebrity-exclusive text marketing platforms create a safe platform to chat with fans without sharing their own personal information. In a way, it’s not unlike their DM’s, a place where you could send daily messages in the hopes of receiving a reply.

When you text a celebrity, it’s most likely you’ll periodically receive texts with updates about projects they’re promoting. Not unlike the content they share on their feeds and stories.

The unique difference is that these messages are delivered right to your personal phone. A message that, if only for a moment, opens a channel between you and a celebrity.

Why Are Celebrities Doing This?

The answer to this question is different for everyone.

  1. The money: some celebrities, like Ashton Kutcher, actually invested in the celebrity text marketing software that makes this all possible. Not to say he doesn’t have pure intentions and a desire to connect with fans, but he does stand to benefit financially if this trend takes off.
  2. The algorithm: many lesser-known public figures, budding YouTubers, social media influencers, and breakthrough actors, rely on a growing fan-base to fuel their climb. However, social media algorithms are troublesome and can prevent their audience from receiving messages. But texting, that’s a way to break through the noise.
  3. The spam: social media sites are also flooded with bots and trolls. Their comments are public making celebrity pages riddled with positive and negative commentary visible to all. And often, the comments from trolls tend to draw the most engagement. By texting supporters, celebrities can create a one-on-one connection with fans where conversation is private and free from prying eyes. Not to mention it’s also a great space for celebrities to exclusively promote their projects to the people most likely to take action and support their work.
  4. The good-old-fashion engagement: For some celebrities, there’s a true desire to make an impact on the causes they care about. For example, actress Sophia Bush, best known for playing Brooke Davis in One Tree Hill, has fallen out of the limelight in favor of a career as an activist. While still loyally followed by fans, she uses her platform primarily to support her bipartisan nonprofit for voter activism and engagement. Genuinely eager to share her vision and mission with fans, texting gives her a direct line to their attention.

Can Celebrities See Your Texts To Them?

Yes, celebrities could see your texts to them. It all depends on the volume of messages they receive and whether or not they have an assistant who mans their dashboard. Most celebrities so far seem to use this as an opportunity for two-way communication.

JLo recently used her text-enabled status to run a contest where the winner got to attend the premiere of her film Hustlers with her. All they had to do was text her their name and Instagram handle!

Kerry Washington encouraged her followers to text her questions to ask another celebrity for when she sits in on her podcast.

These examples are one of many demonstrations that you are indeed reaching a celebrity when you text them.

So, is SMS Really The New DM?

In our opinion, it just may be. SMS has some enticing workarounds to DM issues that often discourage celebrities from interacting with fans.

For example, when a celebrity responds to a fan’s DM, that gives the fan access to their primary inbox. To open this door means they could potentially be spammed by messages. The only solution is to block or limit the fan’s access, which can seem cold and quickly turn a super fan into a powerful hater.

The essence of the DM is all about connecting with a celebrity, no matter where or who you are. Now that texting can be automated and managed beyond a personal device, SMS could be the next great way to forge a connection between stars and their fans.

It may take time, but the more these two inboxes begin to feel familiar, we believe texting with celebrities will become increasingly popular.

Meghan Tocci
Meghan Tocci

Meghan Tocci is a content strategist at SimpleTexting. When she’s not writing about SaaS, she’s trying to teach her puppy Lou how to code. So far, not so good.

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