In a time when most media outlets use social media to draw their readers in, The Shade Room flipped that model on its head and made social media the news itself. After launching where its readers lived—Instagram—the celebrity news site turned the platform into its primary news source. When Countess Vaughn apologized to former Moesha
castmate Brandy over Instagram, The Shade Room covered it
. And when Rihanna used an Instagram comment to congratulate Beyoncé on her internet-breaking pregnancy announcement, The Shade Room posted a screenshot
that garnered tens of thousands of likes. Founder Angie Nwandu may not have had a background in journalism, but her web savvy and understanding of millennials’ social media consumption turned The Shade Room into a burgeoning media empire encompassing a website, YouTube channel, Snapchat account, and online store—not to mention 8 million followers on Instagram.