A major pop star joins this super-app, but it’s not what you think

Ariana Grande, a beloved pop singer, joined the South Korean super-app Weverse.

Usually, when we talk about the thing called super-app, we mean an app through which you can do various everyday-related things. Ordering a cab, ordering food, sending and receiving money, and much more: a super-app combines messaging, social media, e-commerce, financial services, and more.

The aforementioned Weverse, however, is substantially different from a “traditional” super-app. Weverse, as the latest Reuters report tells us, is a superfan platform owned by HYBE, the entertainment firm behind K-Pop sensation BTS.

On Weverse, the report continues, artists can write posts, livestream, and sell merchandise directly to their followers.

For example, the app gained significant attention when BTS member Jin’s livestream, following his military service, drew over 2 million views in just 10 minutes despite initial technical issues.

Launched in 2019, Weverse had an average of over 10 million monthly active users in the third quarter of 2023. Impressively, nine out of ten Weverse users are based outside of South Korea, highlighting its global reach.

The “traditional” super-app

The super-app as a concept is a mobile application that integrates multiple services and functions into a single platform, streamlining various digital interactions for users. Originating in Asia with pioneers like WeChat in China and Grab in Southeast Asia (it’s very popular in Singapore, where I enjoyed using it!), super-apps combine messaging, social media, e-commerce, financial services, and more.

The goal is very simple, almost brilliant, one could say: the consolidation of services into one app means that users should not have the need to switch between multiple applications and spend more time in this single super-app.

This allows users to perform a wide range of activities, such as booking a ride, making payments, shopping online, and communicating, all within the same app. Super-apps leverage their extensive user bases to gather valuable data, which can be used to refine services, improve user experience, and offer personalized recommendations.

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