Kardashians face off

Little sister Kylie Jenner may dethrone Kim as the queen of the Kardashians

Kim Kardashian.
Kylie Jenner.

Andy Warhol's proverbial "15 minutes of fame" maxim does not quite apply to the Armenian-American pop culture phenomenon that is the Kardashians.

Kim, 34, Khloe, 31, and Kourtney Kardashian, 36, and Kendall, 19, and Kylie Jenner, 18, the five sisters around whom the reality TV show revolves, have stayed way past their allotted time, riding on the fame of their successful - and ongoing - television series Keeping Up With The Kardashians since 2007. Queen of them all is Kim, who has 46.9 million followers on Instagram.

The Kardashians have made keeping up with them even easier, with the release last week of subscription apps (S$3.98 a month) that promise to give a personal look into the lives of each of the four sisters (Kourtney's is scheduled for release later this year).

Guess whose app has been the most popular so far?

Surprise, surprise - it is not Kim's but Kylie Jenner's.

Marketing analysis firm Apptopia estimates that more than 1.5 million people downloaded Kylie's app in the first five days, which far surpassed Kim's 362,000 as well as Khloe's 398,000 and Kendall's 216,000.

In a video both Kim and Kylie recently released, Kim even jokingly pondered the possibility that her baby half-sister has dethroned her.

While Kylie brushes it off with mock horror, Kim admits that she needs time off from her perch as social media queen, saying: "I mean, honey, let's be real - you got to put in a few years before you actually dethrone me. But I give my baton to you."

While Kim is now, perhaps Kylie is the future.

Here is how they match up.


Kim: 46.9 million followers. While the No. 1 spot fluctuates constantly between the Beyonces and Taylor Swifts of the world, Kim is still one of the most followed persons on Instagram globally.

Her trump card? Photos of North West, her adorable daughter with attention-seeking musician husband Kanye West. With baby No. 2 (South West, perhaps?) on the way, those figures could skyrocket.

Kylie: She trails with 36.8 million followers, but considering she does not have the advantages of a cute cherub and a big-mouth husband, she isn't doing too badly.

With her ever -changing looks and hair weaves (she once went from brunette to blonde to mint green over the span of two weeks), she certainly knows how to keep fans and the media hooked on her every move.


Kim: Married to music mogul, fashion designer and self-declared potential 2020 presidential candidate Kanye West. Since West does not do social media (his Twitter presence is sporadic at best), perhaps a large chunk of her followers are those who flock to Kim's profile in hopes of a glimpse of him behind the scenes with his wife and child.

Kylie: Her boyfriend is Tyga, a rapper who is seven years her senior and probably no hit songs you have heard of (okay, just one, Rack City - compared withWest's many). They are rumoured to be engaged. Little chance he is doing anything for her social media influence.


Kim: Her infamous sex tape with rapper Ray J in 2007 put her on the map (shamed? No, not Kim), but Kim the entrepreneur also co-owns a chain of stores,Dash, with sisters Kourtney and Khloe.

Kylie: Duck lip fiasco, where the world wanted to know if her lips were filled or not. This was followed by the #KylieJennerChallenge that had teens suctioning shot glasses to their lips to mimic her look. In response, she tweeted: "I'm not here to encourage people/young girls to look like me or to think this is the way they should look." She concluded in another tweet: "I want to encourage people/young girls like me to be YOURSELF & not be afraid to experiment with your look."


Kim: In an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, Kim famously X-rayed her butt to quash rumours that it was fake. As for how drastically her face has changed, she attributes it to nifty make-up - that is, contouring. Make-up, shmake-up.

Kylie: The duck lips, again. At first, Kylie whose lips ballooned overnight, claimed that all she did was overline her lips with lip liner. After months of speculation, she finally admitted to getting temporary lip fillers, saying on an episode of the TV show: "It's an insecurity of mine".


Kim: She is BFFs with Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy and Olivier Rousteing of Balmain. She also gets first dibs on clothes and custom dresses made for her, including the famous his-and-hers custom wedding outfits by Tisci.

Kylie: Spotted on the runway at Alexander Wang and Vera Wang during New York Fashion Week this year.


Kim: She has perfected the art of the glam selfie and even released a best-selling picture book called Selfish in May, containing, well, more than 350 pages of her selfies. Moreover, she knows how to treat her followers to eye-popping boob-focused selfies whenever she reaches a landmark figure in the number of fans she has on social media.

Kylie: While the young 'un may not have the strongest selfie game, she resorts to a little trick that could be known as body-baring SOTD's or Swimsuit Of The Day.


Kim: Kylie may be dominating the app downloads among the sisters now, but Kim was in the game first. Her hit mobile game, Kim Kardashian: Hollywood, raked in US$74 million (S$ 105 million) last year.

Kylie: Her advantage is that she is a digital native, with lots of fans who are digital natives too. She posts daily to Instagram, tweets questions to her 11.6 million followers and snapchats regularly. Your turn to catch up, Kim.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 27, 2015, with the headline 'Kardashians face off '. Subscribe