Mobile messaging apps are apparently going to drive conversations in the future with Asian messaging apps being the leading drivers. Along with other apps, the South Korean messaging app Kakao Talk from Kakao, which was launched on 2010, would have found a strong mention too. My gut feeling on Kakao Talk comes after witnessing its massive growth in user base. According to TNW, the messaging app has announced that it has passed 100 million registered users, becoming the latest messenger in the region to pass the impressive milestone.
The impressive numbers have been revealed when the app turned just over three years. The company has also shared that users on the app send 5.2 billion messages per day. Though the numbers can be impressive for the Korean app, it still behind its competitors like the Japanese app LINE which has more than 150 million users and the Chinese app WeChat which has more than 300 million users.
WhatsApp, the most competitive global messaging player, has 200 monthly active users and users on the app get 8 billion inbound messages per day and send over 12 billion per day. CEO Jan Koum recently stated that WhatsApp is bigger than Twitter at the Dive into Mobile conference. The below screen grab shows the growth of the Asian messaging apps.
Nevertheless, one can’t snatch the credit from Kakao Talk of its impressive growth specially in the last two months. The app for last few months has been working on two prominent aspects – 1) Introducing valuable features for users, 2) And 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.
The renewing of 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. 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.
Besides the app had created news when it confirmed the release date of its desktop version. The latest announcement 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.
International growth and strategic tie-ups
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.
Recently the company partnered with Friendster, who has agreed to promote its chat and social messaging apps KakaoTalk and KakaoStory in Malaysia. The partnership also meant Friendster establishing a wholly owned subsidiary called “Kakao Malaysia Sdn” to operate Kakao’s platform in the country.
Besides this Kakao tied 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.
Definitely, Kakao Talk is building itself to give stiff competition to its counterparts.