Fab, a mobile application for artist-to-fan communication, has sparked some strong reactions from K-Pop fans even before its release sometime in February 2022.
Much like the existing Weverse and Bubble applications, Fab aims to connect artists with their fans by providing a platform where both sides can seek active communication—though, for Fab, there is a catch.
In a thread of tweets ongoing since January 25, 2022, Fab introduced the basics of how the application will work. By doing so, Fab announced that each “message” will cost to access.
❓조금 먼저 올리는 FAQ.02❗️
Fab에서 아티스트는 팬에게 긴 글과 사진들이 담긴 편지를 보내거나, 잘 나온 사진 또는 짧은 영상을 엽서처럼 보낼 수 있습니다. 저희는 이것을 "메시지"라고 부르며, 팬 여러분은 이 메시지를 10포인트로 열어보실 수 있습니다.
— Fab (@Fab_tweet) January 25, 2022
On Fab, artists can send long letters which might consist of pictures and text. They can also send postcards which might be good selfies and/or short videos. These are collectively called ‘Messages’ on the platform. Fans can access these messages for 10 points per message.
The tweets further explained that it costs “points” not only to read the messages but also to react to the messages—such as by leaving comments.
각 메시지에는 팬 여러분이 댓글을 남기실 수 있고, 아티스트는 전체 답장을 하거나, 마음에 드는 댓글에는 1:1 댓글을 남길 수 있습니다. (팬이 댓글을 작성할 때에는 하나당 1포인트가 필요합니다.)
— Fab (@Fab_tweet) January 25, 2022
Fans can leave comments under each and every message. Artists can reply in general or reply individually to the comments they like (It costs one point per comment for fans who want to leave comments). Accessing the artist’s general reply to a purchased message will not cost any points.
The points are sold in bundles, starting at a dollar for a hundred points.
많은 분들이 궁금해하셨던 포인트 가격입니다.
100P : 1,200원 / $0.99 / ¥120
210P : 2,500원 / $1.99 / ¥250
510P : 5,900원 / $4.99 / ¥610
1050P : 12,000원 / $9.99 / ¥1,220
2300P : 25,000원 / $19.99 / ¥2,440
— Fab (@Fab_tweet) February 5, 2022
Here are the prices for Fab points.
100P : 1,200 KRW / $0.99 / ¥120
210P : 2,500 KRW / $1.99 / ¥250
510P : 5,900 KRW / $4.99 / ¥610
1050P : 12,000 KRW / $9.99 / ¥1,220
2300P : 25,000 KRW / $19.99 / ¥2,440
You may earn free points by watching advertisements. Any general messages about the group are also free.
K-Pop fans, especially LOONA fans—as LOONA is the first K-Pop girl group to be serviced by the application, are voicing concern over the application’s point system.
- “Doesn’t this make the fans feel dumb, too? LOL.”
- “That really does it.”
- “My bias is on one of these apps, too. And I think putting a price on artist-to-fan communication is bizarre overall.”
- “Charging the fans to communicate with artists is the source of the problem, IMO. I don’t understand Bubble either.”
- “Thank goodness for Bubble… My bias sends a lot of messages, so I appreciate that. This app feels like peak capitalism though.”
- “So you can buy love with money.”
- “This is insane… I’d be offended.”
While there is payment involved for other applications like Fab, it is more on a “subscription” basis than a “pay per view” one.
Fans believe Fab is “bound to make things worse” for the idols.
- “This might end up being cheaper for some fans… but it feels super offensive, TBH.”
- “My bias is going to be on this app soon, like f*ck. I’m bamboozled, honestly. This pisses me off so much, haha.”
- “Ugh, I don’t like this at all.”
- “What a sh*t show, honestly. LMAO.”
- “Idols already get so much sh*t for how much or how little they communicate with their fans… To get money involved is bound to make things worse for them.”
- “I feel like I’d start questioning the sincerity behind the messages when I get notified that I have a message to buy to check. This would only be ideal for idols who aren’t looking to send too many messages. My bias is super active and so this could never work.”
One fan tweeted about the unrealistic nature of the system by pointing out, “25 messages a month [is] already $30 before [fans] even respond.”
People saying this is cheap… Y’all realize they’re making you pay separately to open every message, right? So if each of the girls sends like 25 messages a month, that’s already $30 before you even respond.
Like this system is very sh*tty and expensive too because how do you know whether it’s worth buying a message when you can’t see it yet? You’re going to end up spending 10 [points] and it’s YeoJin just going ‘🥰’.
Fab has not addressed the concerns.