Popular culture

Student-created app lets users connect over shared Korean pop culture interests

Second student Louis Chung and senior Wenxuan Chen launched Kfans to create an interactive platform for Korean pop culture fans.

Two Penn students created Kfans, an app that aims to foster connections among Korean pop culture fans.

College sophomore Louis Chung, one of the co-founders, said the purpose of the app is to allow users to interact on a more intimate level with other pop music lovers. Korean and US-based Korean dramas. The app allows users to have one-on-one conversations, and a Tinder-style matchmaking system is currently in development.

Chung, along with College Senior Wenxuan Chen, started Kfans‚ originally named K-net, in November 2021 after the pair met in a Korean popular culture class and connected around their shared passion for K-net. dramas, Chung said. Chung took on the business side of the app while Chen focuses on technology development.

Chung said he and Chen noticed that other South Korean entertainment platforms can make it difficult to form friendships due to language barriers caused by an international user base and content streams full of content. a large number of users.

“Other apps claim they can help you make new friends, but that’s just not the case,” Chung said. “In a general stream of thousands or even millions of people, you really can’t have meaningful conversations.”

In the near future, by providing personal information on their profiles, users will be able to be matched with others with similar interests in the Korean entertainment industry, according to Chung.

“Our app is special in that it’s the first K-drama-oriented app where people can connect one-on-one in a private chat setting,” Chung said.

Surviving as an independent business can be a challenge, Chung said, especially in a market dominated by apps such as Weverse, a web-based platform created by HYBE – the entertainment company behind the K powerhouse. -pop BTS. As of March 2020, Weverse had over 1.4 million daily users, and the Korean Herald reported that Weverse’s cumulative user count had reached 36 million by December 2021.

Chung added that as two college students trying to make an impact on the K-pop industry, the pair had to work with limited time and resources.

“I believe that with the right vision and effort, we can deliver something meaningful,” Chung said, adding that they hope their latest development, the matchmaking system, will give them a head start.

The couple also found help through The Wharton School’s Venture Lab, a resource that provides support to Penn students and former entrepreneurs. Chung and Chen are the only undergraduate team to be part of the VIP-X Spring 2022 Cohort, a Venture Lab program that provides resources for student entrepreneurs.

Chung said that while work can get hectic, the couple enjoy bringing their project to life.

“We don’t see this as a side project,” Chung said. “We consider it a valuable part of our lives.”