In a post-Kardashian world, every millennial thinks they have what it takes to go viral, but few consider what that online fame actually looks like in a person's daily life. In Elite Daily's new series, Life Behind The Likes, we speak with the people you know on the internet — from the people behind major Instagram accounts to the Daaaaamn Daniels of the world who went viral for one remarkable moment of their lives — to meet the people behind the screens.
The glitz and glam of Hollywood can make it difficult to relate to celebrities. But close friends Emma Diamond, 23, and Julie Kramer, 21, are here to show the world that underneath the red carpet facade, famous people are just like us. They are the brains behind @CommentsByCelebs, an extremely popular Instagram account with over 740,000 followers. The two women have put a pause on grad school to pursue their love of celebrities — and their comments — as their full-time jobs.
@CommentsByCelebs captures the remarks a celebrity leaves on another celebrity’s Instagram account. It may sound simple, but Kramer and Diamond have found a hugely successful niche with their work of curating screenshots of celebrity Instagram comments. The tagline in their Instagram bio says it all, “Because even famous people love famous people.”
When a famous person comments on another celebrity’s photo, or responds to a fan, Kramer and Diamond are all over it. They format the picture to show the post with the corresponding comment, watermark the image with their Instagram handle name, and throw it up on the @CommentsByCelebs account for their followers (including some celebs) to see.
Kramer and Diamond started the Instagram account in April 2017 after Instagram changed its algorithm to show comments from verified accounts first. This helps them quickly sift through celebrity comments to find the gems.
“Every day is very different, because to be honest, it’s not like we have pre-planned content unless we’re planning a specific compilation of something,” Diamond tells Elite Daily in an interview. “Every day is based on what the celebrities are saying that day or that week.”
“Emma said right off the bat she knew it was going to be big, and I was a little more — not skeptical," says Kramer. "I was just like, ‘Sure, whatever.’ I didn’t think much of it at the time. I mean, thank god I said yes."
It was slow going when @CommentsByCelebs was first created in April 2017. The account only had 12,000 followers nine months after it launched. By February of the following year, it had grown to 80,000.
Their biggest boost came in March 2018 when Kelly Ripa, co-host of ABC’s Live With Kelly and Ryan, mentioned their account on air. That’s when the followers started flocking to see what @CommentsByCelebs is all about. (Ripa is a big fan of the account, and Kramer and Diamond say they've even sent direct messages back and forth with her.)
“I always knew that it was going to be big, just because I think that naturally everybody enjoys celebrity commentary and loves the idea that it’s so relatable and that it’s making [the celebrities] so real,” says Diamond. “I didn’t anticipate that it would become such a news source, which I definitely think is something that has propelled our growth, because it’s not just entertainment, it’s actually now become really a news source. So, that’s something I didn’t see coming.”
When they started @CommentsByCelebs, Kramer was finishing up with her bachelor's degree in psychology at Syracuse University in New York. Meanwhile, Diamond already had a degree in communications and rhetorical studies from Syracuse University, and was in her first year of pursuing a master's degree in social work. Kramer and Diamond became fast friends over some of their favorite celebrities, like the Kardashians.
“I was in my first year at Columbia, and then I was in the middle of my second semester when it all started to kind of take off,” says Diamond. “I decided to defer Columbia for a year, and kind of work on this full-time. So, the first year ended in May, this has been my full-time thing and it’s gonna continue to be.”
“We always joke about this because when we first started the account, we were friends, but we were not nearly as close as we are now," says Diamond. "And, you know, yes of course we’re business partners and I think that our relationship has blossomed because from there, just because there’s a lot that goes into it.”
In August 2018, @CommentsByCelebs took part in its first ever paid advertisement, a partnership with Budweiser to announce the launch of its new Jim Beam beer. Kramer and Diamond are cautious about advertisements to make sure they are done tastefully in a way that aligns with the @CommentsByCelebs brand.
“Keeping our format and content consistent is priority for us, so we worked with them to find a way to do the ad in an organic way, that stayed true to our brand,” says Diamond. “We ended up doing a roundup post featuring 10 different comments that Budweiser and Jim Beam left on each other’s pictures. They were really great and easy to work with.”
So, how much time do Kramer and Diamond spend on Instagram to create these popular posts? "It’s not as obsessive as I think it can sometimes come off," says Diamond. "In the beginning it totally was, but now we’ve kind of gotten it down to a science where we know our rhythm."
“You know, it’s really hard when someone asks us that because I really wish there was a better way to quantify it. But there just really isn’t,” says Diamond. “We also have really awesome followers who are constantly sending us things, which is definitely very helpful and kind of gives us peace of mind that we’re not going to miss anything.”
However, there is a formula that goes into what the ladies decide to post versus what they don’t.
“There are the ones that we’re doing because they’re entertainment and they’re funny. And then there are the ones we post because we know they’re gonna make headlines,” says Diamond. “And sometimes there’s a crossover between the two, but a lot of times, we’ll say, ‘this is definitely a headline post.’ We’ll post this, and then we’ll post a funny one. You know, we kind of want to switch it up a little.”
There are some posts that are off limits, according to Kramer and Diamond. There was an instance where a celebrity deleted an "intense" clapback, and Diamond explains, “We made the conscious decision not to post it, because we felt like there was a reason for it being deleted, we didn’t wanna add to that negativity and it just felt like the right decision not to do it.”
The general goal of @CommentsByCelebs is to keep things lighthearted and positive. Take a quick sweep through the @CommentsByCelebs Instagram account and you’ll notice that many of the posts are centered around (and the source behind) some of the day’s top stories. If Khloé Kardashian claps back against a troll, Kramer and Diamond are all over it.
“We are taking on celebrity news, but in not your typical gossip fashion. We kind of have that light hearted approach, and I think people have really appreciated that, especially because our news cycle these days is so dominated by negativity,” says Kramer.
The success of @CommentsByCelebs has led Kramer and Diamond to create to spin off accounts. @CBCBravo focuses on comments from Bravo celebrities, and @CBCathletes captures comments from popular sports figures. The two social media entrepreneurs saw there was a level of interest that certain comments were getting, so they knew they had to expand to more specific audiences. Even now, Kramer and Diamond are gearing up to launch several other @CommentsBy Celebs niche accounts.
"Stay tuned for that," says Diamond.