One thing to know about Korean culture these days; It’s never awkward to hear friends say, “Katok me,” or “Let’s Katok later,” rather than saying, “Call me,” or “Text me.” These small lines just tell us how Korea’s most popular messenger app, Kakao Talk(카카오톡), has taken a big part in Koreans’ daily lives.
有一種韓國文化現正普及而你亦必須要知道的，就是當有朋友說「Katok Me！」或「Let’s Katok Later」時，請不要感到奇怪，這其實就像跟你在說「Call Me」或「Text Me」。這樣的對白就是在證明韓國最受歡迎的Messenger app Kakao Talk(카카오톡)已經佔了韓國人生活上重要的一席。
Kakao’s popularity skyrocketed with its game platform, starting with Anipang in 2012. Friends could check each other’s level through Kakao interlocked games, so you could see how competitive people were. My day starts with checking news of fashion and events sent by corporate Kakao accounts (McDonalds, Innisfree, Everland, Bazzar, etc.). Hungry customers won’t forget to check their coupons before buying a burger. With Kakao Talk, the form of a birthday present has extended to Kakao online coupons that the receiver can exchange to a present, from cakes to jewelry! Over the years, Kakao Talk has continuously presented new features to keep its users satisfied and we have been satisfied. But if you are still asking why Kakao Talk is so popular?
To be honest, I am a more of a calling type than a texting type, but Kakao comes very handy when you don’t have a lot of time. I especially like to create group chatting rooms to have group meetings. Everyone can jump into the discussion even if we are kilometers away, send a message as an announcement on the head bar so that we don’t have to flick our fingers furiously to search for previous discussions, and create a poll to pin the final decision. With that said, the meeting could be about anything from selecting the month’s presentation topic to deciding which restaurant is the best for Friday night.
But that was my story.
Kakao Talk和韓國女團Girl’s Day合作推出的emoticon製作花絮
Why are Koreans really obsessed with Kakao Talk when there are other texting apps like Google chat, Whatsapp, Line, etc.? One possibility could be: emoticons. Cute, adorable Kakao characters make the conversations more fun. I once thought my friends were chatting just to use emoticons. You would be amazed to see a whole conversation which consists mostly with emoticons and actually make sense!
The popularity of Kakao characters is evident everywhere outside the screen. They are on posters, signs, stationery, and even bank books. Many Korean guys and girls like to collect stickers that are in bread packages, so-called ‘sticker breads.’ Just a few years ago there were Keroro stickers on students’ notebooks, now the trend has moved onto Kakao Friends.
Kakao卡通的受歡迎程度不只在電話中，而是無處不在。你可以在海報、招牌、文具，甚至銀行存摺上看到它們。很多韓國少男少女都喜歡收集放在所謂「Sticker Breads」包裝內的貼紙，幾年前的主角是Keroro軍曹貼紙，而現在當然就變成Kakao Friends。
Is now the Golden Days of Kakao Talk? Following Kakao pop-up store, Line has also opened its largest Line store in Garosu-gil, Sinsa. Line has gained relatively more popularity from international users than from Korean users, but the fact that international friends are using Line has become an appealing point to consider (I seriously considered Line as the next texting app from watching My Love from the star.
現在是Kakao Talk的黃金時期嗎？繼Kakao的Pop-up Store後，Line亦在新沙洞開了最大的Line Store。Line在外國的受歡迎程度比在國內的多，但事實上不同國藉的人都在使用Line亦是另一個吸引之處。(我認真相信看過《來自星星的你》後，Line會是下一個受歡迎的短信應用程式)
Will Kakao Talk be able to hold onto its crown or will there be the next national texting app? Status quo, it’s yet to decide.