One of the pertinent questions asked by a WhatsApp user “When is the social messaging app launching a desktop version?” is being addressed by Kakao. Kakao, the maker of popular mobile messaging service Kakao Talk from South Korea, has decided to launch a desktop version in June. (News Source: TNW)
The news broken by Yonhap News Agency stated that the company which had been doing a beta test for the PC version since March this year, intends to launch it by June. Talking more about the features, the spokesperson shared that the desktop version will not have any added features and would be incorporating similar features of the mobile app.
In addition to this, it was also highlighted that users will have to register their computers to start chatting and sending emoticons on their laptops. Log-in notifications will be sent automatically via the mobile app whenever users log onto the desktop service.
The latest move by Kakao is believed to dramatically change the landscape of South Korea’s instant messaging market. The free messaging app that was launched in 2010 in all major mobile platforms, has 90 million registered users worldwide. With the latest development Kakao has increased the chances of users potentially switching to the desktop version and giving a stiff competition to NateOn, the messenger service by SK Communications Co. – leading PC messaging service in South Korea with a market share of more than 80 percent.
Of late Kakao has been working on two prominent aspects – 1) Introducing valuable features for users, and 2) Getting into strategic tie ups and gradually a stronger foothold in International markets.
Introducing valuable features for users
The recent launch of Kakao Home, a Facebook Home style launcher app in its home country adds value for its users. With its launch, the service was an instant hit in its local market – a 4.1 star rating from more than 1300 reviews within a few days. Also, it clocked one million downloads in a matter of 13 days.
Additionally, the renewing its Plus Friend advertising platform also adds another move in the direction of better user engagement. The renewing meant that the app would have dedicated homepages and custom design tools aimed at brands and celebrities. With this new feature upgrades, brands have more flexibility to engage with users. 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.
Getting into strategic tie-ups with businesses
Often Asian messaging apps have been questioned for their growth in the international markets. However, the Seoul based firm has been serious to test international waters and this has been reflected when it signed up with Tapjoy as its first international ad partner for Kakao game services. The latest deal from Kakao comes at a time when the firm has also announced its partnership with IGA works, a Korean-based ad firm.
Along with this Kakao was also in news for its tie up with US based startup Evernote, a trusted name when it comes to storing personal details. The deal which has been kept under wraps, has indicated that the Evernote service will be brought within the mobile messaging app Kakao Talk. This would then enable the users to save a nice message or an image while they are busy talking with their friends.
Though one might debate Kakao Talk hasn’t seen a great traction apart from Korea but of late it is seeing traction from neighboring countries in South Asia. And with the launch of the desktop version, it is certainly looking for a spike. And if we go by the numbers – 210K people applied for 10K beta versions – then the company has got some early attraction already.
Exciting times already in the Asian market for messaging apps with the likes of Line, Hike, WeChat, WhatsApp and not to forget Kakao Talk from South Korea.