Kumu, a livestreaming mobile app, has a growing following not just in its home country, the Philippines, but the world over. And this is all thanks to OFWs who are using the app not just to play games and win cash prizes, but also to reconnect with their fellow Filipinos.
However, the app does not only cater to the Filipino diaspora craving for familiar forms of entertainment, but to people who want to share their talents to a larger audience as well.
Much like other platforms, but streamed a lot faster, musicians can get the recognition in the comfort of their own home. With only a phone, they are able to livestream themselves playing. Kumu users can come and go as they please, and performers who go on Kumu usually get the attention of the Kumu community.
If the audience is impressed by the livestreamers, they can send virtual gifts they buy using virtual currencies — coins, diamonds, and kurot points. If a livestreamer receives enough diamonds, they can cash them out in real life. Some performers earn as much as 30,000 pesos in 30 minutes.
What’s also great about the Kumu community is that they don’t let the limitations of the app stop them from meeting each other in real life. They try to organize hangouts where they can gather, do activities together, and even share Kumu merchandise they made themselves.
Aside from the offline gatherings, there is the “KumuAksiyon Project” where livestreamers try and raise funds for a hospital or orphanage visit. Communities gather round and support certain campaigns because their heart is in it.
Kumu has some aspects that remind us of other social media apps, but what sets it apart from all the others is that it is homegrown and it cultivates a piece of our Filipino values — from showcasing talent to be able to share it to the people around us, to doing livestreams just to talk and catch up with people who live away from us.