With 55 million subscribers now both in Korea and overseas, free mobile messaging app Kakao Talk saw daily traffic surpass three billion. "As of Monday, the number of messages has passed the 3 billion mark," the company said in a press release Thursday. "This is a meaningful indicator along with the daily number of visitors of how much our service is being used."
Based on the average daily number of visitors at 24 million, each user sends 125 messages a day using Kakao Talk. The number seems large because many users use the service for group talk. For example, each group chat message in a group of 10 people is tabulated as 10 messages.
If a text message via mobile service operator costs W20 (US$1=W1,147), each user saves W2,500 a day and W75,000 a month by using Kakao Talk. The total number of messages, which stood at 2.6 billion in May this year, increased by 400 million in just two months.
Kakao Talk was launched in March 2010 and attracted 10 million subscribers in its first year alone. Since then, 10 million new subscribers signed up every three to four months, and it drew the 50-millionth subscriber in June this year. The soaring popularity of Kakao Talk has led to the decline of text messaging via the conventional route.
Due to the emergence of Kakao Talk and other free messaging apps and services, the total number of text messaging via mobile providers was down 57 percent in March compared to the year before, according to a staffer with one provider.