Korean mobile messaging service, Kakao has been in the news the entire week. Initially, it was for the tie up with Evernote and now for a latest feature upgrade. According to The Next Web, the messaging app is renewing its Plus Friend advertising platform which would henceforth have dedicated homepages and custom design tools aimed at brands and celebrities. The feature is right now available only in Korea.
Kakao had introduced Plus Friend in October 2011 with an intention to create engagement between users and their favorite brands, celebrities, etc. Once you select any of your favorite brand or celebrity like I did PSY. On selection the company or group would be added with a ‘P’ symbol to the contact list. And henceforth you would receive updates in a chat dialog format and these updates would generally be engaging content such as video snippets, offers and relevant updates. Even though the feature right now pulls up celebrities and brands from the Korean market like PSY, Super Junior, etc., but holds a great future with the apps global expansion plans.
However, right now it is unclear whether Kakao is going to provide the service for free or it would be a subscription based model for its 400 partners who are availing the Plus Friend service. With more than 26 million active users following 100 million Plus Friend accounts, it would be naïve if Kakao would be giving the feature upgrade for free to brands and celebrities.
With the new feature upgrades, brands would have more flexibility to engage with users. Adding links of various websites, blogs, etc. would be made available to brands. The idea is to provide stronger relationship between brands and the users so that it enables free interaction with the links within and outside the page. Along with this feature, Kakao also informed that in future it would be introducing intelligent bots to the Plus Friend Chat rooms as part of the update. These bots would act as the FAQ system for brands that would have a set of answers for the commonly asked questions.
With more than 90 million registered users globally on the platform, Kakao is providing an enhanced way for the brands to engage with fans. It is no more a mystery that entertainment is moving to smaller devices. In the recently declared Q1 2013 financials, Facebook made 30% of revenue via mobile. So tomorrow there could be chances that PSY releases his new video on Kakao Talk and users can not only have sneak peaks but pay and stream the music on their mobile too. Mobile Commerce, another revenue source for Kakao Talk? Could be possible.
Image courtesy: www.chinapost.com.tw