Although it was a lot more popular 2 years ago, Friendster certainly has not died at all. Today, it partners with Kakao Corp to promote, market and distribute the Kakao mobile platform in Malaysia.
The partnership will cover Kakao’s KakaoTalk and KakaoStory mobile application services including related businesses to these applications which include mobile game channeling, mobile gifting and mobile digital item store.
The world’s pioneer social network and a subsidiary of MOL Global, Friendster shall incorporate a new wholly owned subsidiary, Kakao Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. to undertake the operations of the Kakao platform in Malaysia. Kakao Malaysia shall be responsible for marketing and promoting the Kakao platform, sourcing local content and game applications for the Kakao platform and procuring advertisers for Kakao’s mobile applications in Malaysia.
With more than 94 million users around the world, and dominating South Korea with a whooping 88% penetration rate, KakaoTalk is fast becoming one of the world’s largest cross-platform mobile group-messaging apps. The mobile social platform is also a game platform with a total of 142 games introduced to date, accumulating up to more than 268 million users across all its games.
The partnership represents a great potential for growth in the Malaysian mobile content market scene as the local Smartphone market continues to grow to an estimate of US$3 billion by 2016.
“Kakao Malaysia will also ride on MOL’s leadership position in the online games payment market in Malaysia where MOL has an estimated 70% market share. As smartphone penetration increases in Malaysia, mobile gaming will become more prevalent. This would allow local content developers and intellectual property owners to generate a new revenue source from the Kakao platform,” says Ganesh Kumar Bangah, the MOL Global’s Group Chief Executive Officer.
Leveraging on Kakao’s accumulated know-hows and experience in the mobile platform business, Kakao can also work with Friendster to open up new opportunities and possibilities in Malaysia.
To boost KakaoTalk’s promotional campaign and appeal to youngsters, Kakao Malaysia has started airing TV advertisement and commercials starring Korean K-Pop Group BigBang and Malaysian singer and song writer Yunalis Zarai (Yuna).
During this period, Kakao also became the number one free app in the Malaysian App Store.