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Facebook Fails to Tower over Kakao in Korea
Despite Its Android Dominance
Facebook Fails to Tower over Kakao in Korea
  • By Cho Jin-young
  • July 13, 2017, 09:30
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Kakao ranked first among Korean Android users in June.
Kakao ranked first among Korean Android users in June.


Facebook started as a global social network service (SNS) provider and dominated the smartphone world. Its influence is getting bigger and bigger.

According to Priori Data, a market research firm of Germany on July 13, six of the top ten download apps in the Adroid app market were Facebook-affiliated apps.

Facebook messenger service "WhatsApp" took first place with 96.3 million downloads. Facebook Messenger (75.67 million), Facebook (39.30 million), and Instagram (35.72 million) were ranked second, third and fourth, respectively. Facebook Light and Facebook Messenger Light also stood seventh and tenth with 18.26 million and 10.52 million downloads, respectively.

Among the top ten, non-Facebook-affiliated apps were children's game app Pidget Spinner (22.8 million), Snapchat (21.73 million), mobile game "Subway Surfer" (12.18 million), music steaming service “Sporty Music” (1.059 million) among others.

The strong influence of Facebook is attributed to the quick acquisition of mobile services with big growth potential after becoming a global social network. Facebook bought Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014.

Facebook's global influence has been on the rise, but in Korea, Facebook has not overtaken KakaoTalk which is called a "national mobile messenger" in Korea. According to app analyst WiseApp, Kakao ranked first among Android users in June. Users of Kakao-connected apps such as KakaoTalk, KakaoStory, Daum and Melon totaled 35 million. They were followed by Google (34 million) and Naver (32 million). Facebook-linked app users numbered 1.2 million, holding 7th place.

"Facebook-affiliated apps was able to quickly expand their market shares as there was no strong players such as mobile messengers when Facebook was rising," said an official in the IT industry. “In the Korean market, Facebook has not yet caught up with the Kakao group in terms of the numbers of pure users because Kakao pre-empted the mobile messenger platform in Korea."