While NHN Japan’s Line is winning the chat application war in Japan by a large margin with over 45 million users , KakaoTalk is the likely number two in the nation. Today Kakao Japan announced that the KakaoTalk chat app has surpassed the 10 million downloads mark back on March 24. To mark the occasion, the company will have a week-long campaign where fans can win prizes like a Macbook Air and a Pentax Q10 zoom lens kit.
What both KakaoTalk and Line have in common in Japan is that both have chosen to advertise heavily on TV in the country. DeNA’s Comm is perhaps the other notable contender with 5 million users as of this past December. I wouldn’t be surprised if Comm also has about 8 or 9 million users currently, given the frequency of its TV commercials.
Back in October of 2012, Yahoo Japan (TYO:4689) – the country’s largest web portal – picked up a 50% stake in Kakao Japan. That backing makes KakaoTalk an interesting challenger for Line, even if the competition between the two is not so close right now.
Like Line, Kakao Japan heavily features games on its chat platform, with casual titles like ZooZoo Bubble, SushiPanic, Tap Tap Blitz, and Pocket Colony.
Both KakaoTalk and Line are expected to make a more intense push for the US market this year, so stay tuned.