Anyone who uses a smartphone has a messenger app of some sort. There are loads of them available today. The best part about messenger apps is that you can save a ton when it comes to mobile service charges. You can contact anyone around the world and stay connected. And for people who don’t want to create other more popular social media accounts for whatever reason, they can still stay in contact with their old friends and classmates with messenger apps.
In this article, we’ll be talking about one of the best messenger apps today which is KakaoTalk. Here’s a rundown on what you can do to make the most use out of KakaoTalk and see for yourself why it’s very popular not only in Korea but also in other countries.
What Is KakaoTalk
KakaoTalk is Korea’s number one messenger app. But it has many users from all over the world. In 2017, it’s been recorded to have over 220 million registered users and over 29 million active users on a monthly bases. The app has 15 languages available for its worldwide users.
What sets KakaoTalk apart from other messenger apps is that you can do more than just call and text with it. The KakaoTalk app enables its users to share and send photos, videos, voice messages, website links, and contact information. You can send messages privately or in group chats. Making phone calls with five other friends is also easy on the KakaoTalk app.
You can also make transactions with the app. KakaoTalk has KakaoBank where you can deposit and receive money to and from your contacts. You can also make payments for your bills and other dues. It’s really an all-in-one app that’s fast and easy.
The best part about it is that it’s completely free to use! The app only uses Wi-Fi or mobile data. You won’t need to worry about a surprisingly huge amount on your monthly phone bills because it won’t charge you for calling or texting.
Although KakaoTalk has all the necessary features that you need, there’s still a bunch of new social media apps you should keep on your phone just to stay updated with friends and family who aren’t on KakaoTalk.
The Evolution of KakaoTalk
The KakaoTalk app by South Korea-based Kakao Corp. was founded in 2010 by Beom Soo Kim who was the former CEO of the NHN Corporation. Currently, the company’s CEOs are Kae-Beom Lee and Sirgoo Lee. Through gaming, mobile commerce, digital content, and celebrity and brand marketing channels, the company had a revenue of over 200 million dollars back in 2013. In the previous year, it had earned 42 million dollars. This is the sole proof that KakaoTalk was able to expand in such a short period of time.
In the Google Android Market, Kakao Corporation was named as the top developer. Aside from that, CNET also hailed it as the number one messaging app. It was also the top published in both the Google Play and Apple App Store in South Korea. In the year 2014, the KakaoTalk app was nominated for a Mobile App Award in the Global Mobile Awards.
Also in 2014, Kakao bought Daum Communications to cut costs and get a growth jump-start in Seoul, South Korea. The smart move of Kakao merging with Daum Communication posed a threat to Naver, which is the biggest portal industry in South Korea.
KakaoTalk stands out for being an all-in-one app. You will find that you can also play games with KaTalk Games and listen to music with KakaoMusic all within the app. There are some messenger apps that allow you to play games, but we rarely hear of one that can play music.
Additionally, the KakaoTalk app also features KakaoBank, which enables its users to make online payments, although we have to say that it is not as swift as the best money transfer apps we have featured before. Transferring money to family or friends with KakaoBank will save you the hassle of having to endure long bank queues and logging into online phone banking. You’ll also find that you can book hotels and make reservations at restaurants in the app! This is definitely a unique messenger app that has so much to offer.
The # (Sharp) Button
We’re all familiar with the hashtag feature on both Facebook and Instagram. But the “hashtag” symbol on KakaoTalk is slightly different. Tapping on the # button will direct you to media news and entertainment, shopping, movies, and sports material. There will also be a # button next to the text box of your chat room. There, you can type anything that you would like to search using Daum’s search engine. The # search feature on the KakaoTalk app is very useful because you can search for anything while talking to your friends or family without having to switch from one app to another. It’s very convenient and time-saving.
You’d be surprised to know that KakaoTalk has even more features! Indeed, you can listen to music with it, you can send money through it, and you can also play games on it. But there are even more cool features to it. In the section, we list down the added unique features of the KakaoTalk app. You’ll be wondering why you haven’t been using it this whole time.
The KakaoTalk app is able to sync the contacts on your mobile with the app automatically. This makes it easier for you to see which of the people on your contacts list are also on KakaoTalk so that you can easily connect with them through the app. This feature also allows you to view your friends’ mini-profile and register your closest friends as well.
In the KakaoTalk app, you can be granted access to different forms of multimedia content. You can listen to songs and watch videos from artists or celebrities that you add as friends. So not only are you able to communicate through the apps, but you’ll be entertained, too.
Audio and Graphics Elements
One of the unique features of the KakaoTalk app is that you can put a voice filter on your voice while making phone calls. It’s just a nice and funny feature that adds more excitement to conversations. You’ll also get to use animated emoticons and stickers exclusively made by KakaoTalk.
Another cool feature of the KakaoTalk app is KakaoTalk Gift. This feature enables its users to buy vouchers from the app and send them as a gift to their contacts. A physical gift to be delivered to another user is also possible through this feature. You can select a gift for your friend or family member in the KakaoTalk app and have it directly shipped to their doorstep. It’s a sweet way to say let them know you remember them.
This feature of KakaoTalk is very unique and useful, especially when you want to get something for someone, but you don’t have the time to run to a store and buy something.
The KakaoTalk Boards are basically like digital bulletin boards that can help manage your meetings conveniently. It allows users to announce and make votes to conveniently manage meetings. You are also able to keep your memorable moments posted on the bulletin board.
Types of KakaoTalk Chats
There are many types of KakaoTalk chats on the app. There is of course the regular chat features on the app that’s great for one-on-one chats with your friends and family, as well as group chats that bring you all together. But another feature is the Secret Chat. Since the app doesn’t support end-to-end encryption by default, the Secret Chat feature is a good way for you to have private conversations if you are conscious about your personal privacy when messaging. This feature is quite similar to the Secret Chat feature on Telegram.
The last chat feature of KakaoTalk is the Open Chat room. This feature allows any KakaoTalk user to join and interact with other users. Users are free to join Open Chat rooms and create their own for others to join. This feature is similar to an open forum where you can discuss any of your interests under the sun. It’s also a great way to bring people with the same interests together. For front-liners and the like, you can also connect and interact with the same profession to talk about problems, solutions, etc. KakaoTalk users can connect and share with other users that are not on their contact list. The Open Chat room can also be a great way to advertise or market your business.
Companies and businesses are making use of the advertising feature on KakaoTalk. Not only can you make custom emoticons, but you can also promote your company on the KakaoTalk app once you create a “KakaoTalk Channel,,” which is a company page that you can use to market your business. You will be able to attract followers and interact with them through messaging. A great way to market new products or services is through post updates with text, images, and links that direct users to your company’s website.
The best part is that you can earn directly from the KakaoTalk app when you start a shopping channel. This will enable you to start products and services on the app and users will be able to access it easily. You can also give your followers a reward or perk by giving away some coupons that they can use in your shop.
How to Get KakaoTalk
The KakaoTalk app is available for download on both Android, iOS, and other smartphone operating systems. You can get it even if you’re using an old mobile device. But since most of us nowadays are using Android and iOS, we’ll be focusing on how to download on those devices.
If you are using Android, go to the Google Play Store and search for “KakaoTalk.” If you are using iOS, go to the Apple App Store. One you find KakaoTalk on the app store, tap “Get” or “Download.” Wait for the app to finish downloading. You will find the KakaoTalk app on the downloaded apps on your mobile screen.
How to Create a KakaoTalk Account
Setting up a KakaoTalk account is easy! All you need to do is register your number to the KakaoTalk app and confirm it. You will receive a code through text and you have to input that code on the KakaoTalk app to confirm your number. The app will import all your existing contacts who also have a KakaoTalk account, connecting with them through the app! You will also need to input an email address that will be associated with your KakaoTalk account. Make sure that you carefully choose an email address because you won’t be able to go back and change it anymore.
Pros and Cons of the KakaoTalk App
- The KakaoTalk app uses your mobile number for registration and identification, which saves you a lot of time.
- It offers free unlimited voice and video calls, and text messaging.
- It uses an internet connection (Wi-Fi or mobile data) so there are no extra costs.
- Group text or chat messaging is available.
- It’s available in 15 different languages.
- It’s available on most smartphones and computers.
- You can’t connect with non-KakaoTalk users.
- There’s no end-to-end message encryption.
- Anyone can be searched by name, email, or mobile number, which isn’t the best in terms of privacy.
- The blocking feature is not the best one around.
- The emoticons available are limited.
- The KakaoTalk app is mostly used in Korea so this means that it’s still not that popular in other countries.
KakaoTalk vs. WhatsApp and Telegram
There are many different messenger apps available today. Two of the most popular ones are Telegram and Facebook’s WhatsApp. Unlike those other two apps, KakaoTalk has much more to offer than just calling and texting. It’s a multi-platform app that has so many uses.
When you look at Facebook’s WhatsApp and Telegram, they’re both very simple messenger apps. You can call or text your contacts. They offer free communication through an internet connection. On WhatsApp, you can even share your daily status with your contacts. All these features can also be found on KakaoTalk. But features like mobile banking, listening to music, having a search engine, and an open forum sets the KakaoTalk app apart from WhatsApp and Telegram. When you look at the bigger picture, you’re definitely going to get more with the KakaoTalk app compared to other messenger apps.
The KakaoTalk app really earned its popularity in Korea and worldwide. The all-in-one app is very easy and useful. Messaging isn’t just what KakaoTalk is all about. It merges the needs of people all in one app! You’ll find yourself mostly using KakaoTalk once you get it because everything is already there. It’s versatile, easy to use, and free to download.
KakaoTalk brings home the bacon in the game of messaging apps. We’ve covered the basics of the KakaoTalk app and how it can help you with your everyday tasks and communication needs. You will find that everything in the KakaoTalk app is all that you’ll ever really need. (Talk about easy multi-tasking, right?) So try it out for yourself and you’ll ask why you’ve never tried it before. And once you start using it, you won’t be able to live without it anymore, either.
If you like to discover other alternative chat apps, you can check our picks for free phone chat apps here.