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Reading app Kwikku in search of budding comic artists, writers

Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, May 27, 2020  /  04:35 pm
Reading app Kwikku in search of budding comic artists, writers

A screen grab from the website of reading application Kwikku. The locally made app caters to teens and young adults. (JP//Tertiani ZB Simanjuntak)

Local mobile application Kwikku hopes to offer an all-in-one application where users interact with each other, read webtoons and books and even create their own.

Targeting young mobile users – teenagers and adults in their 20s – Kwikku is offering the chance for creators and writers to publish their work on the platform and get paid.

“We believe that our young creators have great potential and we would love to distribute their work for the world to see through this platform,” said Kwikku cofounder and CEO Hamdi Musaad told The Jakarta Post in an interview last week.

“In addition to creating a comfortable platform for the creators, we are applying revenue sharing as our way to develop an ecosystem of young comic artists and writers in Indonesia.”

Kwikku was first launched in 2013 by Hamdi and his team while studying at Maulana Malik Ibrahim State Islamic University in Malang, East Java, because of their concern about the influx of foreign social media platforms to Indonesia.

It was named Best of The Best Android Application at the Cakrawala Awards organized by East Java IT Creative (JITC) and the regional industry and trade office. Upon its release, the app gained about 400,000 users, called kwikkers.

Available on Google Play and through its website since late last year, the platform has partnered with independent creators and publishing companies to provide current news on its Kwikku Now (KNOW) page as well as leisure reading material for young people.

Most of the books are teen romance literature, but there are also books of other genres such as history, religious studies and horror. 

The users can read many titles for free. However, premium titles and novels still in progress charge a fee beginning at chapter four ranging from Rp 2,000 (14 US cents) per chapter to Rp 50,000 for the whole novel.

The payment can be made using digital wallets such as Gopay, Ovo, Dana and LinkAja. To ensure the safety of its users, Kwikku uses the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud server. 

To ensure fresh content and nurture webtoon artists and novel writers, Kwikku is organizing a competition called #BERKARYADIRUMAHAJA (creative from home) with cash prizes totaling Rp 500 million (about US$ 34,000) for 16 winners from each of two categories.

The competition is open to participants aged 13 and older until July 23. The announcement of the winners will be on Aug. 17 – Indonesia’s Independence Day.

Kwikku has invited bestselling writers Ahmad Fuadi, Dee Lestari, Faradita, Bayu Permana and Luluk HF to form the panel of judges for the novel category, as well as comic artists Faza Meonk, Sweta Kartika, HelloDitta and the legendary artists Gerdi WK and Lan Kelana for the webtoon category.

The mobile app is developing features to cater to the needs of Gen Z, and Hamdi said he and his team plan to expand it into an all-in-one app.

For a short time last year, Kwikku had its own payment system using in-app tokens called KOIN, which users could purchase or win through certain activities on the app.

“It is our long-term target to develop an all-in-one app. In the starting phase, we will focus on providing content such as news articles, novels and webtoons that are appealing to the younger generation,” said Hamdi. (ste)


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