Sunday, December 1, 2013

Good bye Texting, Hello Kakao Talk

Social Media is spreading globally like wildfire. Day by day, everyone around the world is getting connected through different social media platforms. One of the most interesting example of such a global phenomena  is the case of the application called Kakao Talk that originated in South Korea. Launched in 2010 by Kakao Corp. in South Korea, Kakao Talk is a free talk/text app that uses wifi or 3G/4G connection. The app has no limits on the amount of texts and calls that can be made. Such convenience made conventional texting obsolete in South Korea. Since its creation, the application has reached over 100 million users and has an average rating of 4.1 stars. To put this growth in perspective, Kakao Talk currently has 80% market share in South Korea. 80% market share in any business environment is unheard of. Kakao Talk is definitely turning many heads.

The genius of Kakao Talk does not lie just in their free text/call. The true genius lies in supplemental services within the application such as games and social media platform called Kakao Story. These supplemental services create more opportunity to generate revenue and increase consumer engagement. All of the games are designed so all the friends in your network can keep track of your activity and achievements. These games have premium items and skins that could be purchased with money. Such luring features and convenience draws users and makes them stay. I personally downloaded the application when my sister in Korea recommend it to me, and I can't get enough of it. Below is a screenshot of what my home screen looks like for the application. 

With increasing popularity and revenue, Kakao Corp. expanded their market in Japan, China, Vietnam, and some parts of Europe. They made smart advertising decisions in featuring highly popular Korean celebrates recognized across Southeast Asia (link to commercial below). Since its creation, Kakao Talk has seen enormous success.From what I can tell, it will only continue to grow.

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