KakaoTalk in its 10th year has nearly all S. Korean population connected

2020.03.02 14:34:21 | 2020.03.02 14:34:49

[Photo provided by Kakao Corp.]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by Kakao Corp.]

KakaoTalk, the messaging platform operated by Kakao Corp., turns 10 this month and celebrates its spectacular achievement of being indispensable part of almost every Koreans and turning into one of the most valuable IT names in Korea.

Monthly active users on KakaoTalk in Korea averaged 44,859,000 in the quarter ended December, or 87 percent of the country’s total population of 51,780,579, data showed. This means almost everyone except for infants and young children use the chat app in Korea.

Messages sent on KakaoTalk reach 11 billion on average per day.

In 2018, 95.9 percent of people aged six years or older communicated through messaging app, and KakaoTalk made up 99.2 percent, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Science and ICT and the Korea Internet & Security Agency.

Downloads of KakaoTalk topped 10 million in its first year in 2010 and the number of users surpassed 40 million a year later.

KakaoTalk has drawn users with focus on social network features such as own profile settings, easy share of photos and videos in chat, and group chat.

[Photo provided by Kakao Corp.]이미지 확대

[Photo provided by Kakao Corp.]

The revenue-sharing structure with content providers also helped invite more users and businesses to expand the platform and the services like emoticons (or emojis) and games, market experts said.

Currently, more than 7,500 emoticons are released on KakaoTalk, and 29 million users chat with 2.3 billion emojis in monthly average. Of the releases, 1,000 achieved a milestone of 100 million in revenue, and 55 1 billion won.

In-app KakaoTalk Gift service allowing users to send gift coupons to others through the messenger has also been drawing strong response, another reason behind the success of KakaoTalk.

Nearly 6,000 companies have entered the platform since the launch nine years ago, and 25 million users have registered their birthday. Transaction volume already exceeded 1 trillion won in 2017 and on-year growth in the third quarter last year recorded 42 percent.

KakaoTalk now is planning service upgrade with focus on next-generation technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data and blockchain. It aims to create more innovative services with revenue sources based on big data from the messenger app.

By Oh Dae-seok, Hong Sung-yong and Lee Ha-yeon

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