Who else remembers the days before Instagram, when finding any scrap of personal information about a celebrity—an unseen family photo, perhaps, or a clipping from an old high-school yearbook—was akin to digging up gold?
In 2017, there’s a veritable ocean of information online, and finding anything novel out there that a hundred tween fans haven’t already discovered is about as likely as Kylie Jenner renouncing selfies.
But, there is one platform that remains (mostly) uncharted territory: Venmo. The social payment app is where most of us go to send rent money to our roommates, split cab fare with our coworkers, or hit a friend back for that last round of drinks—and, it turns out, this is one area where stars are, in fact, just like us! A few weekends ago, on a particularly lazy Saturday, a friend tipped me off to the fact that Venmo-stalking doesn’t just extend to exes and prospective partners—you can just as easily track down Hollywood randos or Victoria’s Secret models and waste a few hours perusing their spending habits and contact lists.
Are you going to find any groundbreaking information? Probably not—well, unless you consider Kellan Lutz’s NBA betting habits or Dianna Agron’s favorite emojis to be essential knowledge, that is. But there is a bit of a thrill in finding an app not painstakingly controlled by public relations reps and image specialists—and starting from an easily-searchable celebrity and hop-scotching your way through their contacts to a Hadid or a Hemsworth does have a certain scavenger-hunt appeal.
Now, who cares who Brody Jenner is tipping for “an epic handy,” you ask? Well I’m guessing you at least *kind of* do, considering you clicked on this article—plus, amid the array of “Who? Weekly” candidates in most celebrity friend lists, there are a few gems. I was surprised to find, for instance, that notoriously social-media shy Kristen Stewart is on there (if only to pay her hairstylist “For baby.”) And my 16-year-old self would be tickled at the discovery of Mischa Barton’s profile, even if she’s not exactly an A-lister these days.
If you’re feeling particularly daring, you can also send money to your favorite stars—my friend tipped Penn Badgley a dollar for his winning performance in “John Tucker Must Die” (alas, he has yet to accept) and I’ve been mulling the idea of sending Joshua Jackson a lil’ something—maybe with a few 😘 😘 😘 emojis in the note—just to see if anyone I’m friends with notices.