Five Friday Facts #71


KakaoTalk downloads hit 10 million in Japan
The competition amongst Asian chat apps in the APAC region has quickly turned fierce. We recently saw how many of the big names in the category have become the top social platforms in Asian markets–and many of them continue to invest heavily in penetrating foreign markets as well. For the most part, however, they have all successfully secured the leading position in their respective local markets. Japan-based Line, for example, is the leading chat app in Japan; out of its current user base of 120 million, roughly 60 million of them are in Japan. With this in mind, the news that KakaoTalk hit 10 million users in a competitor’s local market comes as a particularly impressive milestone–and a potential cause for concern for its competitors. This uptake also indicates that KakaoTalk has gained considerable momentum in the past few months; TheNextWeb notes that KakaoTalk users in Japan stood at 7.5 million as recently as December 2012. In other words, KakaoTalk has gained an additional 2.5 million users in Japan alone, and increased by 33% since the end of last year.

Tencent’s IM service, QQ has 798 million monthly active users
A recent report by China Internet Watch indicated that almost all of Tencent’s social networks grew extensively in 2012. The increase is particularly impressive given the fact that the reported figures characterise the Monthly Active Users (MAU) on each platform. Most notably, Tencent’s IM service, QQ’s MAU increased to 798 million by the end of 2012, entailing an 11% increase over the course of the year. Social network Qzone’s MAU also increased by 9 percent, and stood at 603 million in December last year. Weixin (WeChat in China) also experienced rapid growth and exceeded 300 million users worldwide by January 2013. Much of this growth is attributed to the increasing adoption of mobile web in the market. Tencent also noted that the development of social features in Weixin encouraged high rates of adoption. Ultimately, these points may collectively suggest the following: while mobile-based platforms and chat apps have continued to grow in size, they have started to evolve into full-fledged social networks in and of themselves.

100 million blogs with 44.6 billion posts on Tumblr
Tumblr recently announced that it had reached a milestone of 100 million blogs. Equally impressive is the fact that these blogs collectively contain a staggering 44.6 billion posts. The 100-million milestone also indicates that the blogging platform has doubled in size over the past year, as the platform first passed 50 million blogs in April 2012. TheNextWeb reports that this staggering growth rate is still on the rise, as 6 million of the Tumblr blogs were created during the last month alone. At this rate, the next 50 million may be close on the horizon.

In South Korea, Facebook is companies’ social network of choice
eMarketer recently reported that South Korean companies are mostly focusing their social media efforts on one platform: Facebook. Citing a February 2013 study by KPR Social Communication Research Lab, nearly 9 out of 10 of the surveyed participants reported being on Facebook. With over 87% of the respondents on the platform, Facebook claims the highest level of presence amongst Korean companies on social media. While blogs come in second with over 79%, companies on Twitter and YouTube constitute a considerably smaller portion of the results, at 66.1% and 42.6% respectively. eMarketer notes that this emphasis on Facebook is particularly striking given the platform’s relatively low user base in the local market. The platform has about 8 million users in South Korea, which translates into a 17% penetration rate amongst Internet users.

Nearly half of Instagram users are on Android
Instagram recently announced that nearly half of their users are active through Android phones. It’s been a year since Instagram was released for Android, so this news comes as a particularly fitting announcement for this anniversary. Instagram also reported that the long-awaited Android-compatible app was quickly taken by storm; the app was downloaded over 1 million times within a day of its release. As TechCrunch reports, iOS users stood at fraction of their current user base at the time, with roughly 30 million users when this rapidfire adoption took place. Not only has the user base soared to a total of 100 million monthly active users since then–it’s also continued to grow at an impressive rate.