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Hallyu extends to SNS created by Koreans

2012/02/14 | Permalink | Source

Domestic social networking services (SNS) are gaining popularity from global smart-phone users as their operators strive to promote their apps overseas by implanting K-pop content into the their services for a synergy effect.

Earlier, Korean SNS operators such as Kakao Talk, Line, Cyworld and Tick Talk have allowed domestic users to exchange messages and upload videos or photos. But now it has been introduced to foreign smart-phone users. The services collaborated with entertainment agencies so that users can access eye-catching songs and videos of Korean pop idols.

SK Communications (SK Coms) has recently developed English version of Cyworld, "Global Cyworld", attracting users in an estimated 140 countries across the world in two months. The majority of the users are young women aged between 15 to 24 from Asia, including Japan and North America, according to SK. A spokesman said SK has differentiated its services from others, making uploaded postings exclusive to given members.

SK Coms also started blogging video images and personal information of Korean pop idols, attracting more than 3,000 members from 59 countries, who wanted to be friends with Korean idol stars. The Internet service provider also said that it is planning to introduce an app called "CyStar" which allows users to become friend with K-pop singers, and a free mobile messenger app called 'Global Nate On", next month

Users have downloaded 1.5 million cases from another mobile messenger "Line", created by NHN, the largest Internet portal in Korea. Korea imported the service last August, which was launched in Japan in April 2010. Currently, foreign users have outnumbered local users. The messenger service allows users to express their feelings through multiple emoticons and cartoons, a sharp contrast to other services.

NHN started providing free services of translation and calling last October. The new services have brought Line to the most popular application in Switzerland, according to NHN. It plans to add videophone function to the application next month and unveil new PC and tablet PC versions as well.

Mobile messenger Tick Talk will also be launched in Japan and Indonesia in April. Blackberry version will also be developed in the near future. KaKao Talk, No. 1 SNS in Korea, with 60 million users will provide videos of Korean pop groups or stars such as Girls' Generation (SNSD), Super Junior and BoA in collaboration with SM Entertainment.

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