[The weight of the national messenger… Kakao Talk, Ecosystem Expansion → Reinforcement of Social Responsibility]
/Graphic=Kim Ji-young Design Reporter Last year, people made reservations for residual vaccines through KakaoTalk and verified QR check-ins and vaccinations. Recently, for confirmed patients undergoing home treatment, treatment information for each symptom such as fever, sore throat, and nasal congestion, as well as information on treatment and phone consultation hospitals, are provided through chatbots. In the third quarter of last year, the number of KakaoTalk messages and the amount of outgoing messages increased by 31% compared to the same period of the previous year due to the normalization of non-face-to-face communication.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, KakaoTalk has truly become a ‘necessary for life’. It was unexpected when KakaoTalk first appeared on the Apple App Store 12 years ago.
KakaoTalk, released on March 18, 2010, celebrated its 12th anniversary. KakaoTalk, which allows you to send and receive messages without limitation of length and number of times, shook the paid text message market, which used to cost 30-50 won per case, and gathered 10 million subscribers in just one year. As of the fourth quarter of 2021, KakaoTalks MAU stood at 47.03 million, which stood tall as a national messenger used by 91% of the Korean population.
“One emoticon rather than ten words”… 2.4 billion cases per month
The initial screen of KakaoTalk. /Photo = Kakao In the past 12 years, KakaoTalk has changed the way Koreans communicate 180 degrees. In particular, emoticons, introduced by KakaoTalk in 2011, created a new creative ecosystem worth 700 billion won and even created the profession of ’emoticon writer’. There are 10,000 emoticon workers alone. The number of emoticons, which was only six at the beginning, has increased to 300,000 cumulatively. There are 1,392 emoticons that have achieved sales of 100 million won or more, and 5 emoticons with 10 billion won or more.
A Kakao official said, “The monthly amount of emoticons sent is 2.4 billion, and about 30 million users are exchanging conversations with emoticons.”
KakaoTalk took the lead in popularizing voice chatting and video calls. With the launch of ‘VoiceTalk’ in 2012 and ‘FaceTalk’ in 2015, the KakaoTalk area has been expanded from text messages to voice and video. Last year, as the demand for video calls increased due to social distancing, we also launched ‘Group FaceTalk’, which allows up to 10 people to participate. [#039;Voice Room’
KakaoTalk to strengthen social responsibility… What is the future?
/Photo=News1 In the meantime, KakaoTalk has focused on expanding the ecosystem by connecting services necessary for daily life such as shopping, finance, games, music, and mobility. In recent years, as a national messenger, he has been engrossed in his social responsibility. A representative example is providing services that solve difficult problems such as providing public mask information, vaccine reservations, and QR check-in. An industry official said, “If we had only relied on global IT companies, advanced K quarantine would have been impossible.”
KakaoTalk is also a window for digital transformation for small and medium-sized businesses. For example, in order to provide a subscription service for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), it is necessary to have a system that integrates regular payment, billing, ordering, and customer management. In addition, Kakao announced that it will strengthen services related to small and medium-sized businesses by acquiring “Grip”, a live commerce startup with 14,000 sellers.
Kakao is preparing for future businesses based on its KakaoTalk operating know-how. Kakaos nominee Nam Goong-hoon earlier this year △ created a role-playing chat-based metaverse ‘V2 task force’ △ The ‘O TF’ that grafts the metaverse to the open chat service was newly established. O TF head Namgoong nominee confidently said, “If Kakao Talk is acquaintance-based communication, O TF is interest-based communication, so it can become a global service beyond Korea.”
In response, a Kakao official said, “We expect that open chat will develop into a global business” and “We plan to expand globally by working with various communities such as Kakao headquarters as well as Brain Games and Entertainment.” .