Kumu Nation

In a sea of social media platforms, what would compel netizens to download just one more platform and make it part of their daily living?

For followers of the country’s first Filipino social app, Kumu, it’s the power of the app to bring Filipino voices together from across the globe
— plus, real-time earning opportunities among livestreamers, chances to win prizes in various game shows, and engagement in campaigns.

It’s the platform for Filipinos to dominate the world together, interact and express themselves. And as its founders stress, “Where authentic connections happen.”

App Annie, a mobile app-performance company, says Kumu is in the top 10 in multiple markets’ app stores, including in Canada, Australia, the Middle East, Europe, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

At the core of this “Kumu-nity” is its Social TV, a cross between livestreaming and TV programming. It’s an amalgam of all things entertaining about TV such as game shows, talk shows, variety shows, sports, even educational shows, to name a few — only this time, viewers aren’t only onlookers but they get to interact during the shows as well.

Photographs courtesy of Kumu

Unlike mainstream TV where celebrity status is a premium, Kumu is about making everyone be at ease as their authentic selves, whether they’re participants in a singing contest, consulting a fortune teller in his show, or saying hello to a talk show host. It’s all good and inclusive here.

The social entertainment app has also been producing its own content. On 26 August, for instance, Kumu proved it’s at the pulse of its market with the launch of Kasama Ka, the first Kumu Music EP and the result of week-long campaigns between 20 singers and songwriters last June. A launch party on 25 August was held at Cocoon Boutique Hotel in Quezon City.

Kumu has also co-produced and launched Top Class, a P-pop reality competition, and recently announced its signing of seven P-pop groups. Its Kumu live events also became the platform for Nadine Lustre’s first online concert last year.

KUMU founders and officers (from left): Jhelo Cristobal, senior community growth manager; James Rumohr, chief of community; Rexy Dorado, president; Victoria Herrera, VP of marketing; Angelo Mendez, chief innovation officer; and Roland Ros, chief executive officer.

“All the co-founders here have, at one point in their lives, been in the business of service. I was an educator and principal before Kumu, for instance,” shared co-founder James Rumohr during a recent press meet-up. “So, our intention originally was to fill that gap among Filipinos all over the world and create a safe space where they can interact and feel that they’re truly part of a community — without the toxic stuff from other social media platforms.”

Today, four years later, Rumohr and his co-founders’ goal to connect the local community has also expanded to include other cultures that want to learn more or appreciate what being Filipino is all about.

Kumu Africa, launched this year, is proof of the increasing proverbial dots that the social platform is putting on the map.

Anniversary concert

And now that it’s celebrating its fourth year, Kumu will be throwing a concert this weekend, 2 September, 6 p.m., at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura Premier. The grand gig will gather 1,000 guests, including the most highly engaged and engaging users and streamers, alongside talents that got their break via Kumu.

The excitement heats up with performers GYO, BINI, VXON, Calista, Press Hit Play, KAIA, G22, among others. KC Montero will host the birthday concert along with Samantha Bernardo, Kimoy Feliciano, Kelly Canoza, Aldwin Steven, and Prince.

“This is an exciting moment for all of us in the company, a product of the hard work and dedication we’ve really focused on to build Kumu and commit to its vision,” Rumohr said. “And at the heart of these efforts are the members of our Kumu-nity who were with us through the years. They’re the real VIPs of this birthday concert.”

The concert is a selling show, so get your tickets through SMTickets.com. Kumu is available for download on both the App Store and Google Play.

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