Kakao Japan Releases Smartphone Communication App “Kakao Talk”

Kakao Japan, Inc. [J], a subsidiary of the South Korean KAKAO Corporation, who offer the smartphone communication app “Kakao Talk” [J], have released the external site linking service “Talk Plus” for Japan.

“Talk Plus” is a function which links to external applications or web services (banner apps) and allows you to apply functions and applications with banner apps within “Kakao Talk”’s talk room.  Kakao Japan will develop together with Yahoo! JAPAN, so it is linked with “Travel Guide Yahoo! Loco,” “Yahoo! Loco Maps,” “Yahoo! Box,” and “DECOPIC,” and linking with “Yahoo! Auction,” “Yahoo” Shopping,” “Yahoo! JAPAN ID,” and “Yahoo! Point,” and the introduction of “Yahoo! Wallet” are also in the works.  Also they have been continuing assertive promotion such as transportation advertisements and the televising of new commercials.

Kakao Talk: Free Calling [J]

Translation authorized by VSMedia

Daum Mobage – DeNA’s Social Game Platform To Be Provided In Korea

DeNA announced today that DeNA’s Korean subsidiary DeNA Seoul and Popular Korean Internet portal Daum [Kr] agreed to provide Korean version of its social game platform Mobage to 38 million Daum users. The release date will be targeted in 2011 4Q for smartphone users.

In Japan, DeNA has been cooperating with the nation’s largest portal Yahoo! Japan on PC-version social game networking Yahoo! Mobage for more an year. Yahoo! Mobage added more users from PC by it.

TOKYO, JAPAN – November 8, 2011 — DeNA Co., Ltd. (DeNA), today announced that its Seoul-based wholly owned subsidiary, DeNA Seoul Co., Ltd, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Daum Communications Corp. on bringing DeNA’s Mobage social gaming platform to South Korea through Daum’s popular Web portal and mobile apps. This Mobage Korea service will be focused primarily on smartphone users in South Korea and is scheduled to launch in the first quarter of 2012.

By leveraging Daum’s existing 38 million registered users, social graphs and AD@m, South Korea’s largest mobile advertisement network with over 10 billion monthly page views, DeNA Seoul will be able to bring Mobage Korea to millions of new consumers. The two companies will also collaborate to promote Mobage Korea on Daum’s websites and apps.

Daum will also be able to take advantage of DeNA’s proven expertise in platform operations, delivering internationally popular social game titles to their users with Mobage Korea, in addition to growing its own social game offerings.

Game developers across the globe will also be able to benefit from the planned collaboration, with global development tools such as the Mobage API to help them deliver games to the rapidly-growing smartphone market in Korea and other countries worldwide.

Daum’s Web portal (www.daum.net) is visited by nearly 93% of South Korea’s Internet users every month. Daum’s Web portal receives approximately 20 billion page views each month. More than 38 million people have registered on Daum, and MyPeople, Daum’s free fixed/mobile voice call and text chat service, has more than 14 million users.

“Through synergies with DeNA and domestic mobile game developers, we plan to build the nation’s top mobile gaming network.” said Kyongwan Son, Daum’s Director of New Initiative Division. “Daum has lead the domestic mobile market with AD@m, MyPeople and Daum MAP among other offerings. We will leverage such services to focus our power on mobile games business.”

“South Korea is an explosive market for smartphones and social mobile games and DeNA is excited to collaborate with Daum to deliver Mobage Korea to South Korean gamers.” said Steven Yang, DeNA Seoul’s Regional Head. “Mobage Korea will deliver great games to local audiences, while also helping developers around the world quickly and easily deliver their contents to an increasingly global audience.”

DeNA International site release

Google+ iPhone App Bug (unable to write Japanese/Chinese/Korean) Fixed

The Google+ iPhone App‘s huge but only affected for some countries has been fixed after about 10 days.

As we reported on September 26, Japanese (Chinese and Korean as well) Google+ user who updated the app found that they were unable to put in their native language letters.

The new version has come on October 4 with changes;

  • Fixed bug with Chinese, Japanese and Korean
  • Re-enable autocomplete when composing a post

It was quite a show-stopper for East Asians. I hope they will have test item with Asian languages before shipment.

Japanese And Korean Start-ups Hold Presentation Event In Seoul For Potential Partnerships

As noticed on this story, Japanese four tech start-ups and Korean two start-ups five Japanese tech start-ups and six Korean tech start-ups had jointly a presentation event in Seoul on Wednesday.  I just wanted to join them for covering what happened onsite, however, I couldn’t make it because of my another assignment in Malaysia.   Alternatively, I tried my best for making a wrap-up of the event by checking out a Ustream video and a series of tweets by those who were attending.

The event took place at a hotel near Teheranno St., known as the epicenter of many tech start-up movements in the city.   Presentations were made in English, Japanese and Korean with simultaneous interpretation.   Let’s start with a presentation made by Korea’s start-up Mindsquare.

Presenter: Park Hongwon (박홍원), Mind Square[K]

Mindsqaure provides a variety of foreign language learning apps.  They employs app developers in Korea and are doing business in Korea, Japan and the US.   Most of their revenues came from Japan, and intends to the US market.  Mr. Park says,

  • Shares of the iPhone apps by category: entertainment 47% and education 35%.   No iPhone game app is unavailable because of restriction by the Korean government.  In Japan, entertainment shares 9%, education 9% and game 68%.
  • An average price for the iPhone apps on the Korean AppStore is USD1.96.
  • The most popular paid iPhone app records 1000 downloads a day, which is one-third of that of Japan.   There are more free apps than paid apps in Korea.
  • A series of their iPhone apps is available here.

Revolutionizing Digital Entertainment by advanced video search technology
Presenter: Jonnpyo Lee (이준표), Enswers Inc.

  • The Company has developed a video search technology that allows users to find an expecting result from YouTube and other video sharing services.
  • They have head-hunted many talented engineers from all across the country.

Big trends in Japan – Optimization and Personalization Technology
Presenter: Takashi Uemura(上村崇), ALBERT Inc.

He explains Japanese ad industry.


Information to collective intelligence LastSupper – spot to intelligent map / mironi – listen, share, enjoy
Presenter: Jongil Yoon (윤정일), Revlix[K]

  • Revlix is an app developer in Korea. They have introduced a smartphone app called Mironi[K] (coming soon), which is called a social music player, allowing you to share your music listening experience with other users.
  • Mostly 50% of all businessmen and students have smartphone handsets.
  • The company has also introduced a social app called Last Supper[K], which allows you to share your dining experience with other users.


Japanese mobile market and Global mobile ads
Presenter: Kiyotaka Kobayashi(小林清剛), Nobot Inc. (see these Asiajin stories for more details)

  • They earned 1.1billion monthly impressions last month, and are planning to partner with major ad networks in Korea.

Evolution of ebook – interactive ebook
Presenter: TaeWoo Kim(김태우), Moglue[K]

  • Moglue is developing a desktop platform that allows publishers, amateur authors and artists a way to create interactive stories and release them as apps for iOS and Android operating systems with one-click publishing.
  • Their apps for iOS and Android are currently available only in closed beta.

Social Monitoring “@hentaiAlert”
Presenter: Yusuke Takahashi(高橋雄介), Individual Company

  • The company is currently developing a social monitoring service called Hentai Alert.
  • The service, literally alerting against suspicious people, helps you find suspicious people around you by analyzing accumulated knowledge about them on social media.   As more vicious crimes happen in these years, the service helps you keep away from possible dangerous people.


Social network meets advertising
Presenter: Josh Jaehong Kim(김재홍), AdbyMe[K]

  • Korea has USD 7billion-worth ad market, however smartphone in-app advertising is not so acknowledged  in Korea.
  • Adby.Me allows you to use Twitter and measure advertising effectiveness on a ad placement basis.

Social translation “Conyac”
Presenter: Naoki Yamada(山田尚貴), Anydoor

Refer to this Asiajin story for more about Conyac services


How to Build a Clean Web
Presenter: Benjamin Beomjin Kim(김범진), CIZION inc.[K]

  • Cizon develops a social comment service called LiveRe[K].Live Re, that allows you to leave a comment with your account of Twitter, Facebook and Korean social networks such as Me2Day[K] and Daum’s Yozm[K].  It’s Korean version of Disqus.
  • Live Re is now adopted by 200 companies for their websites, it shares 80% in this entire web service category.


In app purchaise iOS/Android/Japanese Style
Presenter: Kentaro Hashimoto(橋本謙太郎), Conit

He introduces the in-app purchase system for multiple smartphone platforms that Conit has developed.  Refer to this Asiajin story for more about the system.


Wiki Covering 11 Countries: Digital Media Across Asia

Here is some recommended reading, probably of value for just about everybody reading Asiajin: in 2007, Students at Singapore Management University have created a wiki called “Digital Media Across Asia”, which now covers a total of eleven countries (in English), namely:

On the site, the wiki is being called the “world’s most comprehensive wiki dedicated to digital media throughout Asia”, and I think this could well be true.

The wiki is updated 2-3 times per year (only the students themselves and faculty can edit it), and it’s a great resource for country-specific information on social networks, mobile, search engines, video sharing platforms, etc. etc.