Jeremy Renner shut down his exclusive, and puzzling, app claiming that trolls had taken it over by impersonating him.
Renner launched his very own app in 2017 in an effort to more directly connect with fans. However, those who downloaded the “Jeremy Renner Official” app quickly realized that -- contrary to its promise -- it didn’t offer much in the way of exclusive content and instead was seen by many as a needless cash grab.
After roughly three months of troll activity, the “Avengers: Endgame” star announced he was shutting it down.
“The app has jumped the shark. Literally,” Renner wrote on his Instagram Stories Wednesday. “Due to clever individuals that were able to manipulate ways to impersonate me and others within the app, I have asked EXCAPEX, the company that runs this app to shut it down immediately and refund anyone who has purchased and stars over the last 90 days. What was supposed to be a place for fans to connect with each other has turned into a place that is everything I detest and can’t or won’t condone. My sincere apologies for this to have not turned out the way it ws [sic] intended. To all the super-fans who have supported me with your words or encouragement, amazing art, stories, and time shared on the app, a genuine thank you and I hope to see you on Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook.”
Comedy writer Stefan Heck wrote an article for Deadspin in which he claimed credit for posting the word “porno” on the app’s comments section. This prompted a wave of trolls to realize that all replies on the app sent a push notification that made it seem like Renner himself was responding, even when it was just another user. Soon after, dozens of false Renners emerged to cause chaos, much to the dismay of real Renner fans.
However, the apps issues went far beyond trolls. Many were quick to notice that, although the Renner app promised exclusive content, interaction with the star and giveaways, it functioned more like a version of Instagram in which only the star himself could post. Entertainment Weekly notes that many of the photos Renner shared were also shared on his Instagram, making the app somewhat redundant.
In addition, the app implemented a system of “stars” that cost its users money to gain attention. Rather than “liking” a post, as one does on Instagram or Facebook, fans could post an unlimited number of “stars” on Renner's content. If someone became a top star giver, it was likely, but not certain, they would get a response from Renner himself. However, users had to pay money to replenish their supply of stars.
In short, the Renner app was derided by many as Instagram, but only for people interested in giving Jeremy Renner money.