Tech

This Filipino App Is Now #1 in the App Store. Here's Everything You Need to Know About Kumu

Everything you need to know about the Filipino superapp.
IMAGE Kumu YouTube Channel
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Watch out, TikTok and Instagram. There’s a social media platform on the block and it’s 100 percent Filipino. The Kumu app is now ranked as the number one free app in the App Store, a huge feat for a local startup that has huge platforms to compete with.

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Kumu began in 2017 when the late night brainstorming conversations of two friends, Roland Ros and Rexy Dorado, became a reality with a livestreaming app that connects Filipinos around the world. 

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Here's everything you need to know about the Kumu app: 

What does “Kumu” mean?

It’s short for the word “kumusta,” which pretty much sums up the Kumu platform that lets users share their lives and experiences through livestreaming. Kumu aims to be a space where Filipinos can feel at home in the same way WeChat is to China and Line is to Japan.

How is Kumu curated for the Filipino?

“From the very beginning, the app has always been focused on raising Filipino culture and the voices of Filipino content creators whether they are based in the Philippines or overseas,” says Victoria Herrera, VP of marketing at Kumu.

“Naturally over time, we worked with media brands, content companies to create engaging shows, as well as supported the rise of Filipino livestream content creators to earn a full-time income through our app.”

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What can you do on Kumu?

Primarily a livestreaming app, Kumu produces livestream shows like game shows “Game Ka Na Ba” and “Quiz Mo Ko.” Users can also livestream their own content and build their content creation skills in a “safe and positive place.” Users can also take part in “live commerce,” which allows MSMEs to market their respective brands.

It aims to be the Filipino “super app,” where you can livestream, video chat, game, run your business, and more.

What are the users called?

The Kumu community (the Kumunity) calls themselves “livestreamers” and “influential livestreamers.”

Who are the top influential livestreamers on the app?

Mayor Isko Moreno, Ces Drilon, Boy Abundia, Charo Santos, Sydney Crespo, Ruby Ibarra, Mica Javier, Apple Chiu, Brent Manalo, Star Magic Philippines, and Cornerstone Entertainment Group.

Can you earn on Kumu?

Yes, you can. Like any platform that requires content creation, you can monetize the platform for you through brand sponsorships. Kumu also has virtual gifts on the app.

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How many Filipinos are now on Kumu?

Five million and counting.

How did it rise to #1 on the App Store?

Kumu has teamed up with ABS-CBN’s starmaker Pinoy Big Brother to launch the new season despite quarantine restrictions. With everyone stuck at home, Kumu came into the picture with a clever solution, allowing potential contestants to audition remotely and connect using Kumu technology.

The tie-up between one of the country’s up-and-coming startups with the biggest reality show on Filipino television skyrocketed Kumu’s trajectory to #1 in the App Store, a huge feat for a relatively young local tech startup.

With just one partnership, Kumu has managed to get the entire country to talk about them. 

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You can download the Kumu app in the App Store and Google Play. 

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Anri Ichimura
Staff Writer, Esquire Philippines
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