NCSoft K-Pop Fanapp, Universe, is Reaching its Promised Potential with New Improvements

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  • Wednesday, 31 August 2022 21:16
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NCSoft K-Pop Fanapp, Universe, is Reaching its Promised Potential with New Improvements Universe is the latest fanapp to come out of Korea. Photo courtesy of NCSoft.

NCSoft K-Pop Fanapp, Universe, is Reaching its Promised Potential with New Improvements

Over a year since its release, the all-in-one k-pop media source has 36 active idol planets and will be introducing actor planets soon!

 

January 28, 2021 a new galaxy is born. That is, a universe full of your favorite K-Pop idol groups, each with their own 'planet' full of content made exclusively for their fans on the Universe app. Its expectations were high with its initial release, “the app has more than 21 million downloads, with nearly 90% of those downloads coming from outside of South Korea” as recorded by NCSoft. Many users however have since reported bugs, slow load speeds, and were overall disappointed. Now over one year later, their most recent update, broken down in the “New Universe Changed service notice,” has been released and claims to have corrected these issues and improved the experience for fans. The app is promising as an all-in-one media resource for connecting fans and idols intimately. As a plus it has reached a total of 36 planets incorporating some of the most popular idol groups in the industry including ATEEZ, MonstaX, and IVE.

 

App features are photo news feed, idol messaging, exclusive entertainment, and artist support campaigns. Photo from NCSOFT.

 

Based on its most recent version, what has changed and is going well? According to a press release by Bastion, the app has seen significant changes making it “enhanced for user convenience, personalized designs, and upgraded performance.” The ways in which they accomplished this include shrinking the size of the app to improve speed, a change in the layout of the main page for convenience, and the termination of features such as the 'Private Call.' The 'Private Call' had previously been a point of controversy as it used AI to portray phone conversations with an idol composed of basic topics that subscribers could pay to interact with. The app currently has eight translation languages other than Korean.

 

What’s special about Universe? It’s exclusive. The cry for more content from artists is bringing fans to the Universe fanapp where they can find special content released first on the app before other streaming sites and at times, exclusively. A multitude of selca’s, self taken photos, by artists; fun mini-series’; and private messaging with a subscription are the attractive features that fans are excited about.

 

What do users think? Users had a lot to say with the disappointment after its initial release taking to app review websites, webstores, and social media. The struggle however didn’t turn them away from the app; Rather, it gave users something to look forward to and hope for an improved experience for an app they were eager to use. The feedback from K-Pop fans allowed for the creators at NCSOFT to address their concerns with the new modifications. They said in their 'changed notice' released on June 14, 2022, “We have collected users’ opinions on inconvenience experienced during the use of [the] old version to make improvements.”

 

Still holding onto hope, but overall grateful. Screen capture from Reddit, r/kpopthoughts.

 

Screen Capture from Reddit, r/kpopthoughts.

 

What are fanapps? Fanapps have been around since 2015, V-Live, and have gained popularity through their dedication to fan experiences. The one’s every K-Pop fan knows are V-Live, 2015, LYSN, 2018, and WeVerse, 2018. Like Universe, each app offers content from Idols that range from live video call meetings won through contests, messaging services through subscription, and access to concert tickets and merchandise through their online stores. These apps, all developed in South Korea, have created a bridge for fan to fan connection as well as fan to Idol connection.

 

It has been announced, via the Universe service notices, that the 'planets' for Korean Drama actors Lee DongWook, Yoo YeonSeok, and Kim Beom will be opened on Aug. 10 at 10:00 (KST) after an initial delay due to service operational supplementation. Universe is optimistic in delivering fans dedicated pages to highly sought Korean Drama actors with their actor planets.

 

 

[UPDATE: The Universe planets for Korean Drama actors Lee DongWook, Yoo YeonSeok, and Kim Beom have been launched on the fanapp.]

 

Read 116 times Last modified on Thursday, 01 September 2022 20:31

Written By:

Loren Meza

Loren is the content coordinator for Seoul Journal and specializes in Korean culture and entertainment journalism. She also has a history of teaching K-Pop dance professionally in the US and abroad in Paris, France. Her published works include creative short story pieces. The most recent of her works was published in Flora Fiction magazine entitled “A Different Kind of Game,” in their Summer 2022 edition.

Tiktok @seouljournalofficial



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