Kakao Talk messenger races ahead with 95 mln users

SEOUL, June 10 (Yonhap) -- Kakao Corp., the developer of the popular Kakao Talk mobile messenger service, said Monday the number of its messenger users has topped the 95 million mark.

Kakao Talk, launched in March 2010, is a free messenger application that runs on the Android and iOS operating systems. Kakao has seen its messenger service users surge as a growing number of smartphone users rushed to the free service.

Industry watchers expect the user base to top 100 million this month on the back of popularity in East Asian nations such as Indonesia and Vietnam.

Analysts said the growing user base is also an effective recipe for the success of Kakao's new services that it launched to diversify profit sources.

Popular games, such as "Ani Pang," have grabbed more than 12 million players and have topped the list in several game download rankings.

The number of users for another free messenger application LINE, offered by South Korea's top portal operator NHN Corp., exceeded 150 million last month.

The milestone came four months after the service drew 100 million users in January this year. The free messenger service was launched in June 2011.

Since the initial launch, the company has expanded the service to roughly 230 countries in 11 languages, including Chinese, Spanish and Indonesian.

It's available in 13 different languages, including English, Spanish, Chinese, Vietnamese and Portuguese.

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