Genies! Genies! Genies! Chances are you’ve heard of the Genies app – everyone is talking about it – but what’s it all about?
Last week (January 29), Celeb Secrets scored an invite to their pop-up event in New York City to learn more about what this new app has to offer.
When we arrived at the secret location in Tribeca, there was already a line forming outside to get into the venue. A bunch of fans won invites on social media earlier in the day by way of secret DMs, however, we skipped the line and quickly found a tablet to begin creating our own personal Genie!
So here’s how the Genies app works. Users create personalized look-alike and expressive emojis that react to relevant daily happenings in real-time – ranging from breaking news to cultural holidays (Sunday Funday, National Donut Day, Taco Tuesday, being hung over on a Friday, etc.) to personal life events (celebrating a promotion, engagements and more).
Created by Akash Nigam and Evan Rosenbaum, the app has garnered some major attention from his influential investors like the our favs Jack & Jack. We got the rundown from the man himself on the hype surrounding his creation:
“I mean it’s really simple – it’s a 3D pixellated animated character that looks like you, but thinks like you too. So you can pretty much create something like the Genie that looks like you from the clothing to the skin tone. You then add a bunch of topics in the world that are passionate about that day and then if any breaking news in those categories occurs, you’ll see your Genie react to it and reenact in real-time,” Nigam tells us when asked about the app.
In regards to how Genies began, Nigam says it’s “been a project in the making.”
“We’ve done a bunch of different apps in the past and gone through a bunch of different iterations, but what we saw was a void that we’re fulfilling for the Gen Z / Millennial audience in the way that they consume news. If you see how they consume news, it’s very much about what’s on Instagram, Snapchat and so forth. It’s very visual-oriented and we kind of wanted to bring a new element of info-tainment so people can consume news through the lens of their avatar.”
Aside from Jack & Jack, celebs like The Chainsmokers, Russell Westbrook, Thomas Tull, Ndamukong Suh, Shawn Mendes, Cameron Dallas, and Joe Montana are getting in on the action and investing in the new app that’s about to change the way we use social media. But according to Nigam, not everyone can invest in his product.
“If you care about the product and company first, we’re going to entertain you,” Nigam says about picking Genies’ investors. “If you’re just about brand association or you only want to invest because our other investors are really cool, we’re probably not going to entertain you. For us, it’s very much about ‘hey do you know what’s going to make this audience jive? Do you understand what’s going to make your user-base tick and so forth?’ We want to bring you in because you have a different perspective from a different walk of life that we aren’t quite used to yet.”
As the night picked up, more and more guests joined the party. At around 7:00pm, our friends Jack & Jack rolled into the party with their Genies.
If you follow us on Instagram – then you know we had the chance to chat with them! Here’s what they wanted to share with you:
Celeb Secrets: What’s happening tonight? Where are we?
Jack J: “We’re at the Genies release party! I think this is the first time people can come in and try it first hand which is crazy, because of course the app exists but I feel like this environment is really showcasing the true app and what’s to come.”
Jack G: “Yeah, there’s so much to come in the beta version up until now and I feel like once it releases fully. Once it releases completely and worldwide – it’s just going to take over the world! Right now, we’re celebrating it still kind of being a secret but it can only be a secret for so long!”
Celeb Secrets: What is your involvement with the app? Do you guys have any opinions or say about what happens?
Jack G: “We’ve been involved with this app for like 3 years now! We met through my sister who went to Michigan University with Akash Nigam and yeah, crazy small world! It basically started as a messaging app called Blend and there was so many elements to that app and one of those elements was a Genie! And that was one thing I know we were interested in from the get-go! You asked if we have any say – really it’s all up to the geniuses but we do have input!”
Jack J: “Yeah – it’s a very collaborative process! Akash always wants us to be open and honest and tell him anyway the app could be better and anyway it can be more appealing to millennials and people our age. I think over time we really narrowed down the perfect app – which is Genies!”
Jack G: “It’s cool because we’re always with our friends who are also 18, 19, 20 and all the way up to 25 and these are the ages that the app really wants to target – along with the rest of the world. It’s very important to know what the young millennials think and it’s really nice for us to be able to just talk to our friends and say “hey, what do you think? tell how this is!” It’s awesome, just tell me so I know and can make it better.”
Jack J: “It’s a very efficient way for people our age to get news cause nobody wants to skim through articles and read a bunch of text. It’s so much easier to read it visually – especially with these animated characters who make it fun!”
Celeb Secrets: Why should your fans go download it right now?
Jack J: “I could give you a million reasons – but if you want a way to get news without getting bogged down by like reading too much. To me, it’s the most efficient way to do so. I love seeing myself incorporated in these news headlines. It’s so funny to me and just the most captivating way to do so!”
Jack G: “Another thing – is it’s so easy to share with your friends and family – even if they don’t have the app yet. On the bottom there’s this little thing that says message, Instagram or Snapchat and all it is you click the button and it blasts off to all those social medias. It’s very easy! It’s very simple! There’s so many reasons I could go on and on!”
Celeb Secrets: Why is it important for young people to care about what’s going on in the world?
Jack J: “I think it’s so important because this generation is going to be the generation that makes it the best possible place. With the social climate right now, I feel like the world is so divided. I think if we know what’s going on we’ll be able to make change that much easier. The people in our generation who are fully accepting from everyone from every culture, race, religion – it’s really important for them to be all-knowing of what’s going on in the world.”
Jack G: “We can access everything in the world because of social media and this app just makes it easy for all these kids to know what’s going on in the world. You ask me why it’s important to know what’s going on – it’s because this is the world we live in.”
Ready to create your own Genie?! Well you sign up here but be prepared to wait – there’s a pretty long wait list to join the Genies world. May the odds be in your favor!