Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Q&A: Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi Takes on Tech

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, the diminutive reality star and businesswoman, has her sights set on a new conquest: the tech industry.

Snooki’s peace offering to pale and nerdy people is an iPhone and Android app that helps users “Snookify” themselves for the nominal fee of $1.99 (which is actually not so nominal for an app).

The Snookification process includes overlaying a “large chest, sunglasses, hair style, jewelry and much more” onto a picture of someone who’s not a natural-born Guidette.

On the eve of her first CES, and a couple of months after Snookify Me came out, the “Jersey Shore” star spoke with AllThingsD about her app development deal and other topics, like her favorite iPhone games.

Snooki evaded my attempts at hard-hitting questions by turning on the ditzy charm. (Q: Do you know how many people have downloaded your app? A: Probably like the whole world — obviously.)

Snookify Me is made by Apps Genius, an over-the-counter traded public company that is based in New Jersey. In return for her participation in the development and release of up to eight apps, Polizzi was awarded cash and a whole pile of stock options, total value undisclosed, according to Apps Genius CEO Adam Kotkin.

(Kotkin, by the way, clarified Snooki’s answer about the number of total Snookify Me app downloads to say “several hundred thousand.”)

Here’s a lightly edited transcript of my interview with Snooki.

AllThingsD: I heard you’re going to CES this week — what are you planning to see?

Snooki: I’m in L.A. right now; we’re actually driving out tomorrow night. I never really heard of it before, so I’ll just see what’s good. Also I have my own line of headphones, so it’s going to be fun.

Pictured: Snookified Liz. The "tan" button just seemed to make me pinker.

What was the inspiration for Snookify Me?

Well, my fans always say they want to dress like me. Especially on Halloween, you see a lot of Snookis walking around. So just the fact that you can take a picture of yourself and transform yourself and post it on Twitter and Facebook. I just love seeing everyone Snookified. It’s really cute to see that girls Snookify themselves, guys Snookify themselves. I see pets getting Snookified, grandparents.

Do you know how many people have downloaded it so far?

Probably like the whole world — obviously.

I saw some criticism that this app has very similar functionality to a fan app that was called Jersify. Have you seen it?

No, I haven’t really heard of that before. I think my app is very original. And there’s only one Snooki, so …

What are some of your other favorite iPhone apps?

The games. I actually just converted from a BlackBerry to an iPhone. I like to play Angry Birds, and also Family Feud.

How do you manage your business interests? Are you planning anything else in technology?

I like to brand myself and take advantage of what’s going on right now. Whatever I can come up with — whether fashion, slippers, apps — I just like to please my fans. They love anything that I come out with, which is awesome.

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When AllThingsD began, we told readers we were aiming to present a fusion of new-media timeliness and energy with old-media standards for quality and ethics. And we hope you agree that we’ve done that.

— Kara Swisher and Walt Mossberg, in their farewell D post