To improve the user experience, Kakao (KRX: 035720) recently introduced the option to "allow friends to be added by phone number" in its widely used messaging app, KakaoTalk.
Why it matters:
The move is meant to address user privacy concerns. It is part of Kakao's broader "KakaoTalk Easy" project, which aims to reduce user stress associated with messaging and make everyday communication more convenient.
The Key Points
- Adding friends changes: Users of KakaoTalk (v10.3.5) can control whether they can be added as friends via their phone number. Previously, saving a number automatically added friends, but this can now be prevented.
- Enhanced privacy controls: This adjustment reduces unwanted friend additions and the risk of unwanted messages, in addition to existing privacy features such as Multi-Profiling, Blocking, and Talk Siren. Alternative methods using KakaoTalk ID or QR codes are required to add users who have opted out of this feature.
- Added features: The "KakaoTalk Easy" project has added a feature that allows users to double-tap speech bubbles to express empathy. In addition, users can now better control their app storage.
The Big Picture
The head of Kakaotalk business division, Zooil Yang, has noted the expansive growth of the platform and acknowledged the resulting inconvenience for users.
The "KakaoTalk Easy" initiative is Kakao's strategy to address these challenges and improve the overall user experience.
At the same time, a campaign video outlining the initiative has gained significant traction on social platforms, with 27.8 million views since its launch in August.
Feedback from the user community is mainly positive, underscoring the potential and relevance of these updates in the current digital communications landscape.