During yesterday’s Google I/O keynote, there was a second that stood out to me that might have been missing on a lot of people. Though supplying examples of new applications featured on Use OS 3, Google took the time to call out KakaoTalk. I will not lie. I stood up, pointed my finger at my pc check, and screeched some version of “AHA! I was appropriate!”
If you by now know what KakaoTalk is, you very likely are Korean, Korean-American, have a ton of Korean pals, appreciate K-pop and K-dramas, or have lived / are residing in Korea. You can see where by I’m going below. KakaoTalk is the number just one messaging app in Korea. The least difficult way I can describe it is that KakaoTalk is Korea’s variation of WeChat or WhatsApp. According to Statista, a lot more than 47 million South Koreans ended up energetic monthly customers on the application in Q4 2021. The present-day populace of South Korea is roughly 51 million.
In my loved ones, only the Apple iphone people actually textual content each and every other. The rest of the time, it’s KakaoTalk. That is the place the family group chat is. It is how I contact and text my aunt. If I contact my aunt the “normal” way, she is considerably significantly less possible to decide on up than if I connect with her above KakaoTalk. When my mothers and fathers were being alive, it was the principal application we utilized to converse, send out photos, and share films. I occasionally hear the KakaoTalk ringtone in my dreams.
Whilst Tizen, Samsung’s proprietary wearable OS, had its strengths, it did not have a good variety of third-occasion applications. What third-celebration applications it did have ended up infrequently up-to-date. Meanwhile, Apple and a lot less technologically impressive Use OS watches experienced a considerably much more strong application ecosystem. Repairing this weak point was the main rationale Samsung built the swap to Put on OS.
I question Samsung would ever confess it, but my idea is that Kakao’s refusal to make a Tizen app drove house the place that Samsung would have to abandon the platform if it desired to grow its smartwatch enterprise. Samsung is the most impressive corporation in the state. It accounts for about 20 percent of South Korea’s GDP — and it could not get KakaoTalk, the country’s most preferred messaging and social media app, to build a dedicated Tizen app. Reportedly, the cause KakaoTalk gave boiled down to Tizen’s marketplace get to not remaining well worth the hard work. To rub salt in the wound, KakaoTalk experienced already established Android, iOS, and watchOS variations of its application. Samsung was, in essence, obtaining dissed on its house turf.
KakaoTalk actually created its Use OS app again in Oct, but it is one more thing for it to be singled out at I/O. This really is not the initially time KakaoTalk has been featured in Have on OS advertising supplies. The app was also thrown up on the monitor at Google I/O very last year when Google declared it was collaborating with Samsung on Put on OS 3. I have to imagine this was Google encouraging Samsung out in interesting to the Korean market place, exactly where 72 percent of the population makes use of Android and 67 per cent takes advantage of Samsung phones. (Google did also use japchae in the course of the keynote to demo “multisearch in the vicinity of me,” and you simply cannot undervalue Korean nationwide pleasure at stuff like that.)
This is Samsung signaling to the Asian industry that it is obtained the apps they want now. Applications that have been on the Apple Look at for a prolonged, long time. For instance, LINE, another Korean-designed chat app that is massively common in Japan, was also involved as a single of the featured Have on OS 3 apps. And although Google may possibly not make a decision to carry the Pixel Watch to the Asian market place, these additions do help Samsung smartwatches appear extra desirable in arguably its most important current market — Asia.
So this feels like one particular of people occasions where Google trotting out KakaoTalk as a providing place wasn’t meant for American or European marketplaces at all. And judging by how I reacted, I’d say it was really helpful.