Domestic social media such as KakaoTalk and KakaoStory are dominating Korean market sharing instead of those created by the world leading technology giants Apple, Google and Amazon.
One hundred percent coverage of 3G/4G
Such a coverage of 3G/4G enables people to access the internet anywhere, including the forests area, not to mention the city area. In another word, every inch of the territory in South Korea. According to the statistic, only 14% Koreans are using 3G network and network below to 3G, while others are all using 4G instead. Furthermore, 5G full coverage is on its way, this plan is arranged to be complete before 2018 Winter Olympics. There is no any country has a complete 5G recovery yet, South Korea might be the first one if the plan works out.
Moreover, the average internet connection speed of South Korea is the quickest country, as the average connection speed of 28,6 Mbps, while the US which ranks at the fifth with 18,7 Mbps. The high speed of internet connection definitely provides a high-quality basis for its digital world.
In South Korea, 83% population are using social networks actively, ranks second among countries around the world in 2007, while some other Asian countries like China and Japan are way behind standing at 17th and 21st with a rate of 57% and 51%. Additionally, The US has 66% of active social media users, ranks at 8th.
The local social media beats others created by other countries
A company that combined two leading Korean digital service providers is called Daum/Kakao Talk Universe. It dominates the social media domestic market. KakaoTalk and KakaoStory are the most popular social Apps in Korea, 97 % smartphone users are using KakaoTalk. However, its search engine Daum only shares 6.5% market, way behind of the giant search engine Google and Naver, with a share market of 66% and 25%.
Kakao is expanding the functions over those social network apps like Wechat, the most popular Chinese multi-purposeful social network app which is a combination of Whatsapp, SnapChat, Messenger, Facebook, and Instagram. Users are able to use BankWallet from Nov 2014, and taxi services since March 2015. Furthermore, A friend in the app can easily send a gift to another. It works with a bar code which can be used to go online or the shop to redeem it.
Cyworld is a South Korean social network service, it is equivalent to MySpace of the United States. It has been created even before Facebook and Twitter. It provides a special feature that users can customize the relationship into three different level which meets the hierarchy culture. But Facebook is overwhelming to take over Cyworld regardless the resistant over the past decade.
Anyway, Korean domestic social networks are still leading in Korean, while western social media are taking most of the market in the world except some countries which blocked those social networks.
According to the 2016 data Nielsen KoreanClick, Band has 14.8 million Android users, while KakaoStory keeps 13.6 million users. Those two local social media apps are ahead of Facebook and Instagram, with 10.1 million and 5.7 million unique Android users respectively.
A potential market for any players
South Korea is famous for heavy smartphone users. It seems that Korean young people could not spend their day without using social media. People at the ages of 10 and 39 spend three hours at least per day using their smartphone. It provides a potential market for any new players.