Lady Gaga to launch social network for celebs


And it’s got the backing of Google Chairman Eric Schmidt via his Tomorrow Ventures firm. “Backplane” will be aimed at the unique needs of entertainers and other celebs. The New York Times reported it will be a blend of music, celebrity and technology. Gaga’s business manager, Troy Carter, founded the start-up with Matthew Michelsen, a technology investor and entrepreneur.

“Backplane will provide a platform and tools for communities to socialize and communicate on a more focused level,” Carter told the Times. “We needed a more concentrated base.”

Backplane has raised more than $1 million in venture funding led by Tomorrow Ventures. The Times said Lady Gaga owns 20% of the yet-to-be-launched site.

Backplane will integrate updates from Facebook and Twitter as well as other social sites. Lady Gaga recently surpassed the 10 million-follower mark on Twitter, and about 35 million “like” her on Facebook. She also tops the Social 50, a new chart Billboard launched to rank how popular people are on social media sites. The Social 50 includes Twitter, YouTube and Facebook.

RBR-TVBR observation: Not a bad idea: aggregate the activities and social media universes of celebrities on one site and have a major music celebrity host with high social scores and standings host it. This way, the site should be able to cover both Hollywood and the music entertainment biz. It will likely lend itself to having different levels of “access” where fees will be charged to members.