Daum Kakao merger, Daum search engine, Kakao Talk

While it is the most popular app in South Korea, outside of its home turf, KakaoTalk has been struggling to acquire users against global messaging conglomerates like Facebook’s WhatsApp and Messenger services, LINE, and Tencent’s WeChat, all of whom currently dominate the market.

So, in a bid to help itself grow in the Southeast Asian market, Daum Kakao announced this week that it will buy US-based social network Path for an undisclosed amount. This marks the second major merger or acquisition by Daum Kakao since messaging provider Kakao and search company Daum merged last year.

KakaoTalk on Android, messaging apps, free text and calls

Path was once one of the most popular smartphone apps in the United States, but following the rise of mobile messaging behemoths such as Tango and the aforementioned, the app started to struggle and experienced a sharp decline in usage, particularly in Western nations, which mirrors KakaoTalk’s situation.

In fact, KakaoTalk gained users in its home market in the first quarter of this year, bringing it to 38 million total users, but only 10 million of these users are outside of South Korea, down 26 percent from the first quarter of last year.

Path messaging app, Path social app, Daum Kakao

Path remains quite popular in Southeast Asia — particularly Indonesia — with most of its 10 million users residing in the region, a clear indicator of why Daum Kakao wished to purchase the app at this time.

KakaoTalk is available for most major platforms and recently made a newly designed app available for Windows Phone 8.1 users.


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By Josh Robert Nay

Josh Robert Nay is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of TruTower. He has worked in the telecommunications industry since 2003 and specializes in GSM based technology. He also uses (too many) VoIP apps and is a long-time user of BlackBerry, Android, and Windows Phone. He adores anything having to do with space exploration and writing. In addition to the links below, he can be found on LinkedIn and can also be found on his website at http://www.joshrobertnay.com.