BAND is a mobile community application that facilitates group communication. Created by Camp Mobile, the service is available on iOS, Android, and Desktop.
Users can create separate spaces for communicating with different groups depending on the purpose. Types of groups include existing circles such as friends, families, campus groups, teams, and clubs as well as interest-based groups, like hobbyists, gamers, and fans, which are also searchable within the app. BAND is a wildly popular social app in Korea whose number of monthly active user has surpassed that of Facebook in June, 2014 according to Nielson-Korean Click.
As of September, 2015, BAND surpassed 50 million downloads.
BAND's core features are Board, Chat, Calendar, and Album. Main communications happen on Board where postings and comments are posted. Polling, file sharing, and image/video sharing are also possible on Board. Discover feature was added in March, 2015 which allows for searching and joining other interest-based groups by keywords.
There are three types of BAND groups: Secret Band, Closed Band, and Public Band. Secret Band is a non-searchable group where members can join only via invite. Closed Band is a searchable group, but only joined members can see the content. Public Band is a searchable group whose content is accessible to non-members as well.
Unlike messaging apps, BAND has a membership system where Admins and Co-Admins have certain privileges, including Admin-only posting, deleting other members' content, approving/disapproving membership, removing members, or restricting sending out invites to non-members.
Key functions of each feature are:
- Board: Members can create a post and leave comments. Multiple attachments can be included in a post, including photos, videos, files, location, poll, and event. Read count shows how many members have read the post. While postings are organized chronically, new members can also check existing content prior to their joining the group. Board also supports hashtags and search function for categorizing and searching content.
- Chat: Similar to messenger apps, Chat feature allows for chatting with entire group members, select few, or one-on-one. Chat is used for immediate conversations that have non-specific topics.
- Calendar: On BAND Calendar, members can save group events with date, time, and location and ask for RSVP. Reminder alarm may be set. Members may save the event details on their Calendar on the phone.
- Album: Members can create collective photo albums where every member can upload photos. Multiple albums can be created by event. Up to 100 photos can be uploaded at a time.
- Discover: Discover allows members to search and join interest-based public Bands.
There is no limit on the number of members per Band group.
Secret Bands are mostly created by pre-existing offline groups when members intend to stay connected, plan, and collaborate with each other via mobile. Examples of such groups include friends, extended families, social groups, campus groups, teams, and organizations. Once a member creates a group on the BAND app, the member can invite other members by sharing a Band URL via SMS, messenger apps, or email. The members then can sign up on the BAND app and join the group by clicking the URL.
Closed and Public Bands are created by interest-based groups, like people with common life experiences or hobbies, gamers, fans, and such.
BAND has launched a gaming platform in April, 2014 allowing users to play games and compete with each other. In South Korea, BAND has become an official communication tool in the Republic of Korea Army.