Korea’s largest and hottest mobile messaging application, KakaoTalk, is now available in the Philippines. The application is free of charge and is available on iOS, Android, Blackberry, Bada and Windows.
Kakao Corporation expresses optimism about the launch of its smartphone messenger in the country, citing a recent study done by ComScore which revealed that the local Internet audience is the fastest-growing in Southeast Asia, growing by 22% since March 2012,
“We are confident that we will be able to provide the right product at the right time to satisfy the needs of local consumers,” says Tim Jang, director of Kakao Philippines.
“The Philippines has been especially robust in the past years and we are confident that KakaoTalk will do well in such as promising environment,” said Jang. “We are truly glad to finally launch Kakao in the Philippines.”
The application, which started as a mobile messaging service, has slowly evolved into a multi-facet platform that offers a wide range of content and services including business, marketing, commerce, games, digital content, and fashion in Korea.
Most importantly, KakaoTalk serves as a stepping-stone for the growth of the mobile industry by creating a win-win mobile ecosystem where various stakeholders including business partners, developers, and content creators, can flourish together.
As a free mobile instant messenger, KakaoTalk service attracted more than 20 million users within a year and a half since launch, and currently boasts more than 106 million users around the globe. As many as 5.2 billion messages are sent daily, in forms of texts, photos, videos, contact information, and even schedules.
Key features of KakaoTalk include the following: phone number based service; group chat and multimedia sharing; free 1:1 and group voice call; animated/sound/still emoticons and themes; and security.
KakaoTalk accounts are based on individuals’ mobile phone numbers which means that users only need to input their phone number to begin using the service. It also automatically registers friends using the phone numbers stored in users’ phonebooks.
The application, which supports sharing of text, photos, videos, voice notes, contact information, and schedules, has the capability to create group chat rooms with an unlimited number of friends.
It also offers both 1:1 (one-is-to-one) and group voice calls with as many as five speakers. Features including Talking Tom and Talking Ben voice filters add fun and excitement to voice chat. It also provides free group calls in HD quality.
KakaoTalk also offers tens of thousands of different animated emoticons and stickers, including digital content in Japan and Indonesia, which users can include in their chat bubbles.
There is also a “Plus Friends” feature which allows users to select and receive content related to their favorite brands, companies, and stars. KakaoTalk plans to eventually add Pinoy stickers.
The instant messenger securely encrypts all messages to ensure user privacy and all messages are deleted from the servers after a minimal length of time.
Driven by the success reaped in Korea, Kakao Corporation has recently began pursuing global expansion in countries with high potentials such as Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines
In the Philippines, the company will first focus on helping familiarize Filipino users with KakaoTalk, while continuously listening to feedback in order to provide timely localized features that accommodate the needs of the market.
KakaoTalk is expanding its game platform to a global level, strengthening its role as a platform for Hallyu (Korean wave) and Korean entertainment contents to boost its competitiveness in the world market. It is also striving to become a service unbound by device or language by offering its service in 230 countries across all five major mobile operating systems. The service is also available in 13 different languages: Korean, English, Japanese, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Spanish, Chinese, Thai, Turkish, German, French, Portuguese, and Italian.
To boost its marketing efforts, KakaoTalk introduced itself in its first local TV commercial featuring Korean super group BigBang alongside Filipino pop idol, Sarah Geronimo. The commercial showcased different features of KakaoTalk and the various ways BigBang and Sarah keep in touch through free 1:1 voice calls, group chat, expressive animated emoticons and group voice calls.