KakaoTalk Partners With AdPOPcorn, Brings Ads To Its Messaging Platform As It Prepares A Facebook Home Rival Launcher

Posted: May 10, 2013 in Advertising, Apps, GT, Mobile, Social
Tags: , ,

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Another move in the oh-so-hot mobile messaging
space today: South Korea’s Kakao Inc, which owns
the KakaoTalk cross-platform mobile messaging app,
has inked an agreement with digital marketing
company IGAWorks to bring its mobile ad product,
adPOPcorn, to the messaging app. IGAWorks will also provide adPOPcorn to game
developers whose products integrate with KakaoTalk.
In a press release, the pair said the adPOPcorn
advertising platform provides “in-game/in-app
incentivized ad offers, including integrated advertising
pop-ups, higher conversion rates and traffic, to social and mobile media channels while offering in-game
items and other incentives to players”. Mobile messaging companies are using a variety of
strategies to monetise the large user-bases they have
built up by offering free messaging services. It’s
worth flagging that messaging giant (and KakaoTalk
rival) WhatsApp has taken a public stance against
advertising – but the company does (generally) charge yearly subscription fees to monetise its
service, after a first free year. Other messaging apps,
such as Line, have been using in-app entertainment-
focused purchases such as stickers and game-
related content to generate revenue. KakaoTalk, which now has 90 million registered
users, booked a profit of $6.3 million for fiscal 2012
on revenue of $45 million, according to Forbes.
Building out its ad platform is an obvious way to
supplement revenues from the 100 or so gaming apps
on its platform (KakaoTalk takes a 20% cut of game sales). The bulk of KakaoTalk’s 2012 revenue came
from game sales, according to Forbes – so today’s
news means it’s adding a mobile advertising string to
its bow. KakaoTalk has also previously announced plans to
create its own Android launcher, following Facebook’s
launch of Home: a messaging-centric skin for Android
devices, designed to keep users chatting within
Facebook, rather than via third party apps. Yesterday
Facebook announced Home downloads have reached close to one million. It’s unclear whether KakaoTalk’s
launcher could display adPOPcorn ads in future.

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