On Thursday (Dec. 23), HYBE’s global fan community platform Weverse revealed its second annual 2021 “Weverse Fandom Trend,” which breaks down the year’s most popular topics, hashtags, keywords and posts among Weverse fandoms worldwide.
The growth in Weverse subscribers was substantial this year, surpassing 36 million from 238 countries. That’s up a whopping 16.8 million from 2020, though that number does include duplicate subscribers, according to a press release announcing the 2021 report. The total number of posts on Weverse in 2021 approximately doubled from the number of posts last year, exceeding 240 million as of Dec. 14, while the total number of comments reached 460 million. The total number of moments, posts and comments written by artists themselves reached 120,000.
The most popular hashtag in 2021 was #BTS with 1.96 million uses, followed by #BLINK_in_Weverse, which celebrated BLACKPINK’s arrival on the platform, at 240,000 uses. The third most popular at 230,000 uses was #CARNIVALwithENGENE, which arose following discussions around ENHYPEN’s second mini-album, BORDER: CARNIVAL.
Twenty-three artists joined Weverse in 2021, including BLACKPINK, Cherry Bullet, New Hope Club, Treasure, FTISLAND, iKON, STAYC, ONEUS and WINNER. That brings the total number of artists on the platform — which also hosts fandoms for BTS, Seventeen and ENHYPEN, among others — to 36.
The most popular new fandom of 2021 was BLACKPINK, which launched their community in August and saw the quickest fan-subscription accumulation of any new Weverse artist this year, with over 1 million subscribers joining on the first day.
Speaking of BLACKPINK, the day with the greatest number of visitors this year came on Aug. 3, when BLACKPINK began interacting on Weverse one day after first joining the platform. Also on that day, “Butter” became BTS’ ninth No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, leading to celebration among fans on Weverse.
The second-highest number of visitors came on Dec. 9, when “Super Tuna” — a song written by BTS member Jin to celebrate his birthday — trended at No. 1 on YouTube globally. The third-highest occurred on Oct. 15, when Seventeen revealed the title and track list of the lead single from their ninth EP Attacca; also on that day, Season 2 of Big Hit’s BTS reality series In the SOOP BTS premiered.
In a year of continued social distancing amid the ongoing pandemic, in-person interactions remained minimal while online events, including virtual fan meets, livestreamed concerts, one-on-one video chats and more, continued to thrive. Additionally, Weverse notes that online interactions between artists and fandoms “evolved” over the past year.
As an example, the company cites Jung Kook of BTS composing a song made up of lyrics collected from the BTS fandom via “moment” comments. BTS’ V also hosted an acrostic poems event, to which he submitted his own entry and a video response. Seungkwan of Seventeen watched a volleyball game in real-time with his fans while communicating through post comments, while New Hope Club uploaded cover videos of songs by BTS and Tomorrow x Together and discussed them with fans.
Among all artists, Song Hayoung of K-pop girl group fromis_9 recorded the highest number of interactions with fans on Weverse last year, logging 86 instant comments.
“Online interactions between artists and fans evolved in various ways during prolonged social distancing protocols,” Weverse said in a statement. “Even as offline events make their gradual return, it is probable that more and more services will implement both online and offline approaches. It is expected that platform businesses will focus on enhancing the synergy between the two activities to better meet the needs of fandoms.”
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