Before I go on introducing all of the AMAZING ways to use Kakao, my pictures will be in Korean. I do not apologize for this for two reasons which are: 1. if you live in Korea you should at least be able to read 한글 /hangeul/ (the written language) out of the most minute level of respect for your host country, and 2. it is a great way to immerse yourself more into the language.
What is Kakao?
Kakao is a messenger that most Koreans use as well as most foreigners who come here. I have even had my family back home install and we use it to talk to each other. It’s a great way to get awesome technological perks without selling your soul to Apple (go, Team Android!). Just what all can it do, though? Well, that’s what we are here to learn.
When you get started with Kakao, it’s helpful to set up an account. All you need to do is input your email and a password then set up an I.D. That I.D. will be used so others can search you. If you do not want others to be able to search you, you can disable others finding you.
Also, in Korea at least, when you enter someone’s contact details like their phone number into your phone, Kakao will put them in your contacts.
In a world where people no longer send SMS (text messages) and their phones have more data than minutes, Kakao allows you optimal ways to communicate. You can message individuals or create groups. Apart from simple messaging, though, there’s a lot more you can do.
Photos, (short) videos, voice messages, contact details, your current location, or money are all the things you can send.
Voice and Video Talk
You can also use “VoiceTalk” to call people within the application or “FaceTalk” to video chat. This uses data of course and I recommend being on a good WiFi connection to do it.
The feature I learned most recently about and want to scream from the rooftops if the button labeled “지도” (maps). You can drop a pin of your location to a friend and wait for them to find you. Brilliant stuff, we have here.
Use hashtags to check information quickly or inputting information quickly to friends.
I manage a book club in my area and with that, comes a few features in addition to the ones listed above. Groups messages give the benefit of gathering opinions, dispersing information, setting up meetings, or getting votes VERY easily.
Customize Your Group Chat to Help Keep Visually Separated:
Even have it put directly into your Google Calender.
As you can see from the picture, Kakao has a lot of ways to entertain yourself, ranging from games to videos. There are also shortcuts to webtoons.
Businesses or other entities also use Kakao to keep customers and/or followers updated with current information or sales! This is done with Kakao’s “PlusFriend” (프러스친구). Love to keep myself updated from my favorite stores:
You can also use the “channel” page to look up current news.
I would be lying if I said I had used any of these features, but I know others who have and it is very convenient. The only one I will mention here that is gaining popularity is “KakaoTaxi“ (separate downloadable app).