Kakao Talk, a Korean Mobile Messaging App, is to launch an aggressive international campaign to grow its subscriber base and compete with global giants Facebook and Twitter. The free messaging service, which currently has 9 million subscribers in South Korea, and a further 1 million around the world, is compatible with Apple and Android Operating Systems and is currently used in 216 countries.
The app enables users to send text messages, as well as links, files and photos and is currently available in Korean, English and Japanese. Kakao plans to set up offices in the US and Japan by the end of the year and believes its success in markets such as the Middle East, where the app isn’t available in local languages, demonstrates the opportunities of going global in a mobile age.
Kakao Founder Kim Beom-su is confident that the app can provide real competition for Facebook and Twitter, although he admits it may seem like a David and Goliath fight.
It certainly does seem an impressive goal, given the global dominance of Facebook in particular, but as the mobile web continues to grow, there may be room in the mobile space for some alternatives.