Updated: Jun 30
Written by: Katherine Penman
Fan sites were popular in the early 90s, but with the introduction of sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, fan accounts have become more popular. These social media platforms made it easier for fans to create a safe space, but some fans still own fan sites! Fan sites seem to still be very popular in K-Pop fandoms in particular. What is the difference and what really is a fan site?
The main difference between the two is that fan sites are their own websites. Like fan accounts, fan sites are run by one or multiple fans and aren’t usually endorsed by the artist. The site can have discussion boards for other fans to contribute, recent news, opinions on new media, and sometimes the fans behind these sites will provide exclusive high quality pictures and videos they take themselves! This sets fan sites apart from fan accounts which usually repost content or take already posted content and make edits from it. Some fan site owners also make ads for their artists birthdays or new releases and buy ad spots in cities, on YouTube, and even sometimes buy commercial spots on television.
While many fans appreciate these sites, they also hold the site's creators accountable for invasion of the artists' privacy. K-Pop fandoms have many examples of what’s seen as good and bad when it comes to fan sites providing pictures and videos of artists. Videoing or capturing photos of these idols while at music awards for example is something that fans see as ok. Fan sites who cross the line by showing up to airports where the idols are landing, waiting around their neighborhood in hopes of seeing them, or evening getting tickets on the same flight are looked down upon by many fans, and some artists have even expressed their discomfort with fan sites who are known for invading their privacy.
There are many fan sites that post respectable content and create a community within a fandom. These sites are great places for fans to connect with other fans, discuss concerts, share their thoughts, and much more! Fan sites can be great spaces for fans where they can express their love for an artist safely away from most social media trolls or haters. This creates a seemingly more private place for fans to talk about their favorites!
If you want to get more involved in fan communities,