Celeb News

Keith Urban just gave his phone number to fans, so naturally we sent him a text

Did we get a text back? Yes.

By Maddison Hockey
We all have our favourite celebrities we get giddy over, follow on social media and even pay good money to see live. But, the idea of having their personal phone number seems like a wild concept only dreams are made of.
So, when Keith Urban took to Instagram to share a Polaroid photo with a US phone number written across it and the instruction to "shoot me a text," we had to pinch ourselves.
Naturally we were dubious, and so were fans.
Was this some kind of scam? Surely not, given it came directly from his verified account.
We decided to do it.
Casually texting Keith Urban, no big deal. Image: Instagram
The reply was instant (automated, no surprises there) and unfortunately for us Aussie fans read as such: "Hi! Glad you're here. I can't text internationally just yet but fill out your contact info so we can text you as soon as it's available."
Curious, we followed the link the message also directed us to and it led to a site called Community
The site describes itself as "a new conversation platform enabling direct and instant communication at massive scale, all through text messaging."
As it turns out, Keith isn't the only celebrity handing out his phone number – Jennifer Lopez, Paul McCartney and band One Republic are among celebs following this trend.
Keith shared this snap, sending fans into a frenzy. Image: Instagram
So what's the deal?
When One republic performed near Denver last year the band gave out their number during the concert. This is the response fans received after messaging the number:
"Hey it's OneRepublic! This is an autotext to let you know we got your text. From now on it will be us. Make sure you click the link and add yourself to our contacts so we can text you back."
Still dubious? Lead singer of the band, Ryan Tedder then told Billboard exactly why they were using the Community platform.
"We captured over 20% of our audience at Red Rocks and immediately had so much more engagement than we've ever had with Instagram and Twitter," Ryan explained.
"Nobody else should have your fan's information other than you -- the fact that Facebook owns all of it and we can't have access to it unless we want to pay exorbitant fees is ridiculous."
We wonder if wife, Nicole will gate crash any of Keith's texts... Image: Instagram
In good news for fans (well, American fans for now) celebrities are actually using the service to talk to fans, not just promote events and merchandise.
Musician Diplo put fellow artist Dillon Francis' number on the service as a joke, but Dillon embraced it.
"So Diplo put my number on a billboard but you know what f**k it! I love texting random people SO JOKES ON HIM!" Dillon tweeted.
Fingers crossed the platform launches in Australia soon, so we can start texting our one true love, Keith.