Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in Kaylene Hong was Asia Reporter for The Next Web between 2013 and 2014, based in Singapore. She is bilingual in English and Mandarin. Stay in touch via Twitter or Google+.
Fans of Kakao Talk, a South Korean mobile messaging application, will soon be able to chat not only on their smartphones but also on their desktops.
In March this year, the company had launched a beta test for a PC version, featuring a stripped-down version of its Kakao Talk client. According to a Yonhap News report today, Kakao announced that it will be launching the PC version of its popular messenger app in June.
“We’re now at the finishing stages, reflecting feedback from our beta testers,” a Kakao official told Yonhap News. “We expect the PC version to be out in June at the latest.”
According to a Kakao spokeswoman, the desktop version is currently only available on Window PCs. The company still doesn’t have exact dates for when it will be officially launched, with the spokeswoman only saying that “June seems to be a reasonable guess”. The availability of the service to international users can only be confirmed after after the official launch, she added.
Kakao Talk users will have to register their computers before they can use the PC version, and they will be notified via the mobile app whenever they log in to the desktop service. The desktop version will feature the same user interface as in the mobile version, including friend lists, chat rooms and notification features, the report says.
Kakao’s mobile apps are currently available on the App Store, Google Play, Samsung Apps, BlackBerry World and the Windows Phone Store.
In a sign that mobile apps are moving strategically to conquer more platforms, just this month Viber launched desktop applications for both Windows and Mac OS X that feature support for video calls (in beta). Line, the free messaging app that was created in Japan, already has a desktop client.
Asian mobile-only social services have been reaching critical mass and crossing the monetization hump, and the obvious next step would be to make their services available on PCs. Kakao has surpassed 90 million users worldwide, Line has over 150 million and WeChat boasts over 300 million.
Image Credit: Park Ji-hwan via AFP/Getty Images
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