Kakao diversifies after winning war with telcos

17 Feb 2016

After emerging victorious in the war with South Korea's operators over mobile messaging, Kakao has diversified with a new service designed to facilitate make-to-order manufacturing.

The company that operates the popular KakaoTalk messaging app has announced the launch of the MAKERS with Kakao service, a mobile-order production platform aimed at improving revenue for manufacturers, Korea Bizwirereported.

The service will be made available to 48 million KakaoTalk users. Manufacturers will first present a sample, and then only commence production after receiving orders above minimum order quantities.

Kakao's launch comes days after Korea's mobile operators shut down Joyn, the mobile messaging service set up in 2012 to compete with KakaoTalk and other OTT messaging services.

Joyn stopped accepting new users in December and has now shut down services for existing customers, the Korea JoongAng Dailysaid.

The closure represents the mobile operators ceding defeat against KakaoTalk and LINE, the messaging app run by Naver's Japanese subsidiary.

A spokesperson for one of the three operators admitted to the publication that Joyn launched too late to effectively compete with KakaoTalk and often lacked cutting edge features that would convince existing KakaoTalk and LINE users to migrate.

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