Lifestyle & Belief

Lady Gaga to launch social network for celebrities

Lady Gaga, who tops the so-called Social 50 in Twitter and Facebook popularity, will help build a social network for entertainers and other celebrities, according to a report. 

In a profile of the pop star, Lady Gaga's manager Troy Carter told the New York Times that the new network, dubbed "Backplane," would be a blend of music, celebrity and technology and "provide a platform and tools for communities to socialize and communicate on a more focused level... We needed a more concentrated base."

Backplane has raised more than $1 million in venture funding led by Tomorrow Ventures, the venture firm founded by Eric Schmidt, Google's executive chairman, according to The Times said Lady Gaga owns 20 percent of the yet-to-be-launched site.

Carter, who founded the start-up with Matthew Michelsen, a technology investor and entrepreneur, told the NYT's Ross Sorkin:

The company, which has not yet been unveiled, is a platform meant to power online communities around specific interests, like musicians and sports teams, and to integrate feeds from Facebook, Twitter and other sites.

"Backplane will provide a platform and tools for communities to socialize and communicate on a more focused level," Mr. Carter said, sounding less like a pop star's manager and more like an entrepreneur delivering the typical elevator pitch. "We needed a more concentrated base."

So, perhaps it will look like for superstars and sports teams, especially if you consider the name of the site. A backplane, Wikipedia explains, "is a circuit board that connects several connectors in parallel to each other."

Carter said he got the idea for Backplane after meeting with Apple CEO Steve Jobs to talk about Ping, and that Backplane will do what Apple's Ping doesn't — integrate updates from Facebook and Twitter as well as other social sites.

Lady Gaga tops the Social 50, a new chart Billboard launched to rank how popular people are on social-media sites, having recently surpassed the 10 million-follower mark on Twitter, and boasting about 35 million "Likes" on Facebook, according to The Social 50 includes Twitter, YouTube and Facebook