KakaoTalk Business model and insights

KakaoTalk is a main social tool in Korea with more than 90% of smartphone users of the country – that is to say about 30 million users! – This mobile platform, originally a messaging and calling app available on all smartphone devices has a really specific business model and offers a large range of linked applications.



KakaoTalk record an impressive utilization rate in Korea by occupying 77% of the time among the Top 10 Android apps and with more than 1.8 billion daily messages sent. KakaoTalk messaging platform has developed a brand interface called FriendPlus, as well that gift items mobile commerce and a huge gaming network. A social network linked to KakaoTalk was recently launched; KakaoStory is close to Path and Facebook and its community grows fast.






PlusFriends interfaces

What is exactly FriendPlus?  FriendPlus is the brands and celebrities interface on KakaoTalk. The users can become friends with the brands they like and receive exclusive content push by direct message from the brand. Brands can push various content like coupons, product information, photo album, video clips, audio files, events, raffles… Which make of PlusFriend a wonderful direct digital marketing tool.

Concretely there are over 75 million of PlusFriend relationship made, 17 million unique users of Plus Friends and the average number of friends by brand reach 350 000!




The strength of KakaoTalk is its mobile origin; more than broadcast (TV) and search (desktop) the mobile allows a direct push-up communication where the brand is as reactive as its consumers. And some brands well understood this new communication style as the giant of Japanese clothing, Uniqlo. A study case brand campaign on KakaoTalk; they held online activities distributing discount coupons to celebrate Uniqlo PlusFriend account opening and offline activities in the stores. Within 16 days 20% of the coupons were opened and 40% of all open were used! Thanks to pushing up message they lead the consumer to their stores at a T instant and is today recognized as the dynamic and young spirit brand in Korea.

The selling message of KakaoTalk is for 1% message open via emailing there are 40% message opening on KakaoTalk; and a conversion rate 80% superior than other media! An interesting premise, right?

Pricing of KakaoTalk

KakaoTalk offers 3 starting packages which include the opening of your brand/association PlusFriend page, the highlight of your page as a friend recommendation, banners, and messages. These packages start from 20 million won (that’s equivalent to 18 000 USD) to 50 million won (45 000 USD).

Once you opened your brand page you have pricing by message and by the number of friends; about 1 USD by a message sent. You can also expose your account of Friend recommendation for one week about 9000 USD!

As every digital tool in Korea, 1rst connected country, KakaoTalk is not cheap. But the fact is; Korean customers are connected and react extremely well to digital actions and KakaoTalk success stories in one of the best examples. The next step for this fast-growing social network is the launching of their desktop platform in June – Keep you up to date!


Learn more about KakaoTalk via; www.kakao.com/talk/en