As a project manager at an internet company, I’ve always been curious about apps that are popular in other countries. For example, I know ‘Wechat’ is enormously popular in China and it is a messaging app. But I didn’t realize its true value until I went on an exchange program to Beijing University and really started to use Wechat. That’s when I found out it was much more than just a messaging app but a wallet, an SNS app, and even a shopping app.
It’s pretty hard to know about how apps are really being used in different countries so I thought it would be interesting to introduce and explain some Korean apps that are popular.
‘Naver’ is frequently termed the Google of South Korea. It dominates around 70% of all searches in Korea while Google and another search engine called ‘Daum’ is in charge of the rest. Naver is mostly used to search things on the web but it also is used in various other means.
First is news. Naver is used extremely frequently to check on recent news topics. You can see almost everyone on the subway checking the news via Naver on their way to work in the working. It has various different newspaper companies which you can subscribe to and receive the daily news from. Naver also has a particular page which shows what words are being search most frequently to show what is currently trending in Korea.
Secondly, Naver is used frequently for shopping. Although there are other popular shopping apps such as Coupang and G-Market, Naver has become a dominating force in the shopping business. It has its own paying system as well as delivery service so you can easily search for and buy products.
Kakaotalk is basically the Wechat or Whatsapp of Korea. It is a dominating messaging app which is used by most of all of Korea. It is popular for its fast messaging and cute emoticons to express emotions but is used in many other ways.
To begin with, Kakao Pay and Kakao Bank has become hugely popular so you can easily send money to your friends with Kakao. You can create your own account and do your finances while it also having some neat features such as Dutch pay. Nearly everyone sends money with Kakaotalk to their friends.
In addition, you can send coupons to your friends by Kakaotalk and they can use these coupons to buy food. The most popular is the ‘Starbucks’ coupon where you for example can send a friend a coupon for a cup of coffee. Kakao has a neat (and very business-friendly) feature which shows youwhen your friend’s birthday is. You then have the option of sending a coupon to the birthday friend and maybe send a ‘Happy Birthday’ along with it.
3. Baemin Riders
Baemin is a shortened Korean word for ‘The people of delivery’. It’s basically stating Koreans are people of delivery and you can guess that it’s a delivery app. Almost everyone uses this app to order food online and as Covid-19 has worsened, its usage has also increased.
Baemin Riders is used to deliver almost any type of food imaginable. You can order the normal pizza, chicken, but also bubble tea, ice cream, and coffee. It has a huge variety of options and you can order it easily with your app. However unlike Naver and Kakaotalk, other than ordering delivery food, Baemin doesn’t have a lot of other features that are very popular.
So these are just 3 of many popular South Korean apps that many Koreans use. I hope it was interesting and if you have any other South Korean apps you would like to know about, feel free to hit me up!