With a million downloads after a month, Facebook is still struggling with Facebook Home being accepted by larger masses. In addition to this, Facebook has some serious competition front from Korea. Kakao, the maker of popular mobile messaging service from Korea has launched Kakao Home, a Facebook Home style launcher app in its home country. Guardian spotted the news first and stated that Kakao Home is a customized home screen experience on Android devices with widgets, notifications and deeper integration of the main Kakao Talk messaging service.
Kakao Talk has 90 million registered users worldwide of which more than 50 million on Android phones but has no immediate plans to release the launcher globally since the focus is to test in the local market first – a statement that was clarified by a company spokesperson to TNW.
Talking on the features, Kakao Home has a set of exciting features such as the ability to check notifications for the KakaoTalk, KakaoStory and KakaoGame apps; reply to KakaoTalk messages without launching the standalone app; free themes; and widgets including weather forecasts, a clock and a task killer. In addition to this, the service will also provides users with the option to respond to messages and open up specific chat rooms directly from the home screen, without having to launch the actual app.
The service that was launched a couple of days back has already been a hit in Korea. The service has got a 4.1 star rating from more than 1300 reviews. Availability on all the Android devices has been a smart move in a country where Android holds a dominant 90 percent share of smartphones in the country.
The launcher is a significant move for Kakao when it is trying to bring in different features to increase the usability and engagement among users. The app that made $42 million in revenues and recorded an impressive 29 million daily active users, who send 4.8 billion messages per day has been working on some interesting integration of features. Recently the company was in news for its partnership with Evernote.
However, the popularity beyond the Asian shores is a riddle the company has to solve. Along with that, the app also has a fierce competition from rivals like WeChat, Line, etc. Line recently revealed it made $58 million during the first quarter of 2013, of which $17 million came from the sale of stickers or rich emoticons. WeChat, which also recently revealed that it has 190 million active users has been pushing it’s app globally and India has been one of the focus in the recent times.
Though it is too early to say whether Kakao Home could be the rival for Facebook Home, it definitely raises an alarm at a time when Facebook itself accepts that mobile messaging apps are a threat to the network.