There are so many “nugu” groups, or groups that have very little publicity and popularity, in the K-Pop industry these days because of just how many artists there are. “Nugu” means “who” in Korean, as in “Who is that?”, which is where the term “nugu groups” comes from to use for groups that are unknown among the general public and even among K-Pop fans.
Being a fan of one of these groups can be a challenge. Oftentimes they don’t have much of a budget to promote their music well or provide for their members, and they usually don’t release nearly as much content as more popular groups. More often than not, groups like these end up disbanding sooner or later due to lack of funds, which is a sad fate for any artist.
Smaller artists like this usually aren’t on fan apps like Bubble or Weverse either, and have to resort to other methods to interact with their fans. And thanks to a new app called Hoo, “nugu” artists are getting the opportunity to not only interact with fans, but also to help them get funding.
According to a Redditor that discussed this app recently, there are normal aspects of the app such as being able to talk in a group chat with idols, or purchase one on one chatting with them as well. You can also buy “jellies” with real money that allow you to view exclusive content on the app that can’t be found anywhere else. Artists that are known to be using the app currently include We;Na, 1CHU, and PUZZLE.
What some fans find more odd, however, is the option to actually buy meals for the idols on the app. It’s unclear if this will actually send your chosen meal to the idol or if it just sends the chosen funds to them to use however they want, but there has been a menu shared from the app that lists specific foods you can buy.
While many fans think that it’s nice to be able to send actual money to help support idols that may be struggling financially, others think that aspects of Hoo are going a little too far and blur the lines of parasocial relationships even more than they already are. Describing the app as similar to Tamagotchi actually seems pretty accurate!
Do you think Hoo is a good idea to help out small K-Pop groups that might be struggling?