Emma Diamond and Julie Kramer may not be household faces, but their Instagram handle sure is a household name.
The two women, who hail from New York are the brains (and humour) behind the popular and viral Comments By Celebs Instagram, account which has now expanded into an “an innovative media company” delivering celebrity news and entertainment (and a weekly Chrissy Teigen roundup).
They also have a highly successful podcast that drops two episodes a week, commenting on everything from Award Season, viral memes, the latest celebrity trends, and hook-ups and of course, a Kardashian recap.
Since its inception in 2017, the account has gained over 1.4 million followers (at the time of publication) and includes some serious celeb followers including; Friends stars Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow and Courtney Cox; David Furnish, Alex “ARod” Rodriguez, Miley Cyrus, Cody Simpson and John Mayer — just to name a few.
And while their followers have serious star power, the women behind the account aren’t interested in fame — for them, it’s about their brand and they’d prefer their expanding media franchise to speak for itself.
In an exclusive interview with TheLatch—, Diamond, 25 and Kramer, 23, were adamant that it was “brand first”.
“We want the brand to be famous, but we don’t want to be famous,” Diamond admitted.
“We never post ourselves on the page. We don’t video the podcast. We don’t want any of the personal fame. We just want the content and the account and the brand to be as famous as possible. So we’re definitely not in the spotlight, which is exactly how we want it.”
In April 2017, Diamond, who was studying at Columbia, noticed an algorithm change on Instagram — when a celebrity commented, you could see it first in the comments section.
Bringing the idea to Kramer, Diamond saw an opportunity to capitalise on the change because: “for the most part, if you’re someone that’s even mildly interested in pop culture, why wouldn’t you want to follow an account that documents celebrities’ comments?”
While it was slow to pick up followers at first, the pair remained consistent with their posting.
“You know what? If there’s 1,000 followers or 30 million followers, we’re going to post the second we see something, and we’re going to be consistent,” Diamond said.
After nine months, the account had 12,000 followers and by February 2018, it was at 80,000. The account went viral when US TV personality Kelly Ripa spoke about the account with Ryan Seacrest on their morning show, Live with Kelly and Ryan.
“I was standing there in my towel getting ready to go to the South Bronx for my internship,” Diamond recalled. “And there was Kelly Ripa talking to Ryan Seacrest about our DM interaction from the night before.
“And we’re looking at our phones and the followers were coming in by the thousands every second. I just remember saying to Julie, like, “Holy shit.”
“I remember thinking “okay, this is big.” Because the thing with us is that we never doubted the concept. We always knew it was a really good idea.”
The “really good idea” stemmed from the fact that “the whole idea of Hollywood being unattainable is not cool anymore”.
“People want celebrities to feel like they are relatable or they feel like they can engage with,” Kramer said. “And so, the fact that celebrities respond to their comments or are more willing to comment on a meme of themselves — and they don’t feel like this is another universe — I think has been something we’ve never really seen.”
While their brand is on the up and up, Diamond and Kramer say they haven’t changed as people.
“I think we’ve changed zero percent, which is actually something that I really like about us,” Diamond said, before adding that they’ve definitely matured in a short amount of time.
“We took off at the exact same time that my mom was dying,” she added. “To have to run this company that I’m running, while simultaneously grieving my mom, truly, I can’t think of two experiences that could mature a person more and so the culmination of the two, I definitely think they were transformative, and in a positive way actually.”
For Kramer, who “came right out of college and right into this”, it was a “rapid thing”.
“I was kind of just thrown into it,” she said. “I had to figure it out on my own almost. Not that Emma wasn’t there, but kind of figuring out and navigating this new world outside of college.”
The success of the account is attributed to their impeccable moral compass and the pair are clear on what is “off-limits”.
“A lot of the time, people’s kids might not necessarily want their child to be photographed and put on social media,” Kramer said.
“We tend to stray away from those unless the celebrity themselves have given us permission and we’ll DM them and say, ‘Is this okay for us to post? We wouldn’t want to post your child anywhere without their permission,’ and they’ll either say yes or no.
“We also try to stay away from anything that’s just nasty. Like if there’s no purpose to posting other than the fact that the comment was mean, then there’s really no reason for us to go there.”
The team have only ever had to remove one post before, and that was by Mark Wahlberg’s daughter, Ella-Rae.
“We’re very conscious which is why I think that we don’t get asked to delete things a lot,” Diamond said.
“We posted something. It was a total joke, but she felt like the person was getting shit for it. She was just a really sweet girl, and she was like, ‘I feel really bad. I feel like this girl is getting shit for it.’
“The girl was totally down for the joke, but she didn’t want to feed into it. So we just respected that.”
It may have been the first instance the girls were asked to remove a post, but it certainly wasn’t the first time they had direct interactions with a celebrity — in fact, now they are regularly interacting with their subjects in DM.
“There are two sides to it,” Diamond said. “Because on one hand, you realise that people are just people. Famous or not, everybody’s the same, and that whole starstruck factor wears off really quickly because you just recognise how human everyone is.”
One notable celebrity friend is musician John Mayer. After featuring on the page multiple times (seriously, the guy is hilarious in comments), he was invited as a guest on Diamond and Kramer’s podcast of the same name.
“I was so honoured that he wanted to come on,” Emma admitted.
“Because I know that podcasts and interviews are things that he doesn’t do so frequently and you know, he’s just someone that I’ve gotten to know, and he’s just a really great guy. It was great having him there.
“I was so happy that he was able to share his mind with so many people because so much goes on in there.”
When it comes to pop culture, the two women sure know their stuff and have a particular pipe dream of what they’d love to see happen in 2020.
When quizzed about Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston’s reunion at the SAG Awards, they both agreed that only Angelina Jolie being on the same red carpet would top it.
“Seriously. I can’t imagine,” Diamond said excitedly.
“Like I think Julie was the one that said this on the podcast. That is Hollywood royalty. There are no two bigger celebrities. Even if there’s someone that’s a little bit more relevant in the current moment, it’s just nothing that could be bigger for me.”
But when it comes to their ultimate celebrity guest? Their answer was unanimous. Jennifer Aniston.
“That never used to be our answer,” Diamond said “And now it is. I just want to sit down with her. That’s a magnitude of celebrity that I think is rare. There are very few people that are at her level of not only calibre but also respect.
“She really is so well respected and so well-loved, and I guess I just want to know more what that feels like, you know? Is it a source of confidence-building? Is it pressure inducing? You know, what that feels like to see the whole world cheering for you so constantly.”
While the Comments By Celebs Instagram account is largely a US-based entity, both Diamond and Kramer are surprised about their fan-base in Australia.
“We had no idea. It’s so funny not only hearing their opinions on celebrities, and knowing that we’ve somehow managed to reach that far, but also the slight cultural differences, which are so funny and so awesome for us to be able to observe.”
So, what’s next for Diamond and Kramer?
“We want to put all formats together. Video, IGTV, editorial and just grow this to when people think Comments By Celebs, I want their first thought to be, it’s a media company, not just the account,” Emma said.
“It has definitely been the most validating experience that these people understood our vision and didn’t just think that we were super fans. It was so much more than that. It’s almost like we were observers from a cultural relevancy perspective, not like obsessive people.”