Celebrities like Lance Bass, Dennis Rodman get personal with video messages from Cameo

Autographs are a thing of the past.

Whenever we come across a celebrity, our first inclination is not to reach for the pen but for our cellphone cameras. Selfies are how we capture our important interactions now, and one company hopes it’s found a new way to satisfy the celeb-obsessed fan.

Cameo is a platform where you can request personalized videos from celebrities and influencers.

I was skeptical at first, but when I realized that you can request *NSYNC’s Lance Bass (Dennis Rodman, Perez Hilton, just about any Real Housewife or Teen Mom, and others) to convey a personal message, my inner 13-year-old flipped.

Bass, who just joined the service, can literally swipe left or right to accept an assignment on a phone app, according to CEO Steven Galanis.

Bass records his message on his phone and submits it to the customer as soon as it’s done.

Each talent (there are currently about 1,800 of them, from actors and athletes to YouTube influencers and musicians) sets their own price, but the lion’s share of Cameos range between $25 and $100.

Bass charges $125 but has an average rating of 5 stars. It’s like Yelp for celebrities.

It feels a little impersonal knowing he’d only do it if I paid him, but it’s an interesting concept — it almost breaks down the barrier between fan and celebrity while monetizing fans’ interactions with their favorite stars.

Cameo started from the concept of giving lesser-known talents a space to boost their brand by connecting with fans, which there is a demand for, Galanis said.

“Most celebrities we follow on Instagram make money today by hocking a protein shake or a bathing suit,” Galanis said. “They’re doing a lot of things that are off-brand for them. But every time they do a Cameo, they’re making the recipient and the person who bought it a bigger fan of them. The fans are paying the talent to promote the talent.”

“The autograph market exists even when you don’t see the person in person,” he added. “You can buy a Jeter-signed baseball but there’s no way to get a picture with him unless you run into him and he agrees.”

Plus, there’s no script or rules they have to follow with Cameo. They can be uniquely themselves, whatever that means, Galanis said.

Since its launch about a year ago, Cameo has facilitated more than 30,000 videos from its stars, from gender reveals and birthday messages to comings out and marriage proposals, Galanis said.