During yesterday’s Google I/O keynote, there was a moment that stood out to me that may possibly have been dropped on a lot of people. Though giving examples of new applications featured on Don OS 3, Google took the time to connect with out KakaoTalk. I won’t lie. I stood up, pointed my finger at my laptop watch, and screeched some variation of “AHA! I was correct!”
If you presently know what KakaoTalk is, you likely are Korean, Korean-American, have a ton of Korean mates, appreciate K-pop and K-dramas, or have lived / are living in Korea. You can see where I’m going listed here. KakaoTalk is the selection 1 messaging app in Korea. The least difficult way I can describe it is that KakaoTalk is Korea’s model of WeChat or WhatsApp. In accordance to Statista, a lot more than 47 million South Koreans were active regular monthly people on the app in Q4 2021. The current inhabitants of South Korea is roughly 51 million.
In my family members, only the Apple iphone buyers actually textual content every other. The relaxation of the time, it’s KakaoTalk. That is where the spouse and children team chat is. It’s how I call and text my aunt. If I contact my aunt the “normal” way, she is a lot fewer possible to select up than if I phone her more than KakaoTalk. When my moms and dads were being alive, it was the major application we used to talk, send photographs, and share videos. I from time to time hear the KakaoTalk ringtone in my goals.
Even though Tizen, Samsung’s proprietary wearable OS, experienced its strengths, it didn’t have a excellent variety of 3rd-occasion apps. What third-party apps it did have were being occasionally current. Meanwhile, Apple and significantly less technologically remarkable Dress in OS watches experienced a a lot additional sturdy application ecosystem. Fixing this weak spot was the major cause Samsung manufactured the change to Don OS.
I doubt Samsung would at any time acknowledge it, but my concept is that Kakao’s refusal to make a Tizen application drove dwelling the position that Samsung would have to abandon the system if it desired to increase its smartwatch small business. Samsung is the most impressive corporation in the country. It accounts for approximately 20 per cent of South Korea’s GDP — and it could not get KakaoTalk, the country’s most common messaging and social media app, to acquire a focused Tizen app. Reportedly, the rationale KakaoTalk gave boiled down to Tizen’s industry get to not becoming value the work. To rub salt in the wound, KakaoTalk had previously established Android, iOS, and watchOS versions of its app. Samsung was, in essence, receiving dissed on its home turf.
KakaoTalk truly developed its Use OS application back in Oct, but it is a further detail for it to be singled out at I/O. This in fact isn’t the very first time KakaoTalk has been featured in Don OS marketing supplies. The app was also thrown up on the monitor at Google I/O last year when Google announced it was collaborating with Samsung on Dress in OS 3. I have to think about this was Google serving to Samsung out in desirable to the Korean marketplace, where 72 percent of the population uses Android and 67 p.c works by using Samsung telephones. (Google did also use japchae through the keynote to demo “multisearch near me,” and you simply cannot undervalue Korean nationwide delight at things like that.)
This is Samsung signaling to the Asian industry that it is obtained the apps they want now. Apps that have been on the Apple Check out for a very long, prolonged time. For instance, LINE, a different Korean-built chat app that is massively well known in Japan, was also integrated as one particular of the featured Wear OS 3 apps. And whilst Google may possibly not make your mind up to provide the Pixel View to the Asian industry, these additions do assistance Samsung smartwatches seem extra appealing in arguably its most critical marketplace — Asia.
So this feels like 1 of people times exactly where Google trotting out KakaoTalk as a selling issue was not meant for American or European markets at all. And judging by how I reacted, I’d say it was fairly helpful.