JYP Entertainment has announced that 2PM and Stray Kids will be the first artists from the company to begin chatting with fans directly through the private messaging service Dear.U Bubble.

Originally part of the LYSN fanclub app, Dear U. Bubble is a platform where artists can communicate with their fans through direct messages. Originally, only SM Entertainment artists such as EXO and NCT were part of the service. Later, FNC Entertainment and Jellyfish Entertainment joined the mix. And now, it’s JYP Entertainment’s turn with 2PM and Stray Kids.

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| bubble for JYPnation

Like FNC Entertainment and Jellyfish Entertainment, JYP Entertainment’s Dear U. Bubble service has its own dedicated app on iPhone and Android: bubble for JYPnation. The app launched at 6PM KST on November 25, and the artists’ messages are scheduled to open on November 30.

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| JYP Entertainment

Through Dear U. Bubble, idols can send fans text-based messages as well as photos, videos, and audio. All subscribed fans receive the same messages, but they are sent directly from the artists—not automated by companies. A built-in translation feature is available for fans who don’t speak Korean.

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| JYP Entertainment

Fans can then send text-only replies to their idols, with a limit of three replies per artist message. Replies are limited to 30 characters, but the limit increases to up to 200 characters the longer you’re subscribed to the service. Artists see all replies in a chatroom-like sequence, and they also have a feature to view replies on Twitter from fans who are not subscribed to the service. To reply on Twitter, you must use the artist’s designated Korean hashtag (for example, #카이버블—”Kai Bubble”—for EXO’s Kai).

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Red Velvet’s Joy shared what “Dear.U Bubble” replies look like on her version of the app. | @RVKimBae/Twitter

Dear.U Bubble follows a monthly pricing model under which fans purchase “tickets” to chat with their favorite artists. Each artist costs one ticket, and fans can mix and match any members from their chosen group. As of right now, 2PM and Stray Kids are presumed to follow the same pricing scheme as the SM Entertainment artists who already use the service:

  • 1 ticket = $3.49 USD per month
  • 2 tickets = $6.49 USD per month (discounted from $7.49 USD)
  • 3 tickets = $9.49 USD per month (discounted from $10.99 USD)
  • 4 tickets = $12.49 USD per month (discounted from $14.99 USD)
  • 5 tickets = $15.49 USD per month (discounted from $18.49 USD)
  • 6 tickets = $17.99 USD per month (discounted from $22.49 USD)
  • 7 tickets = $20.49 USD per month (discounted from $25.49 USD)
  • 8 tickets = $23.99 USD per month (discounted from $29.99 USD)

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While many fans of Stray Kids and 2PM are looking forward to chatting with their idols directly, some fans are lamenting that the service is too expensive for many.

However, others have noted that the Dear U. Bubble subscription fee does typically go directly to the artists themselves.

Some are also concerned about the direct messaging aspect of the system, as it has been used in the past to send cruel and vulgar messages to idols such as Red Velvet‘s Irene and Seulgi. While Dear U. Bubble doesn’t appear to have improved its message filtering system yet, it is possible for agencies to take legal action against so-called fans who misuse the service.

Other JYP Entertainment artists expected to possibly join Dear U. Bubble in the future include TWICEITZYGOT7DAY6, and NiziU.