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(LEAD) Kakao eyes beyond messenger with new service
By Lee Minji
SEOUL, April 9 (Yonhap) -- Kakao, the operator of its namesake mobile messenger Kakao Talk, on Tuesday unveiled a new mobile content platform as it seeks to bolster its revenue with new business models.

   The move comes roughly eight months after the homegrown start-up introduced a game platform in addition to the free-of-charge mobile messenger service that had garnered 84 million subscriptions as of the end of March.

   "Kakao Page" features around 8,000 features, including texts, videos and applications that can be downloaded for a minimum 500 won (US$0.44) per piece, the company said.

   Users can also upload content they have created by paying an annual membership fee of 50,000 won, it added.

   In a bid to enhance readability, Kakao said it has developed an optimal user interface for users to enjoy the content on their mobile devices.

   Kakao Page, which is currently only available in a Korean-language version, can be downloaded on Android devices.

   A company spokeswoman said Kakao is in the process of opening the platform for iOS devices as well as expanding the service to global users, without elaborating further.

   The Kakao Page launch is seen as the start-up's move to solidify revenue sources on the back of its growing subscription base as manufacturers, messenger operators and mobile carriers are rolling out messenger services.

   As part of its strategy, the company launched a beta test for a PC version of its messaging service in late March in line with growing demand for applications that are compatible with multiple devices and platforms.

   NHN Corp., the operator of another popular mobile messenger LINE, has also been stepping up efforts to bank on the global popularity of its messenger service.

   In February, the company announced plans to inject a combined 80 billion won to new units "Camp Mobile" and "LINE Plus" as part of efforts to strengthen its mobile clout.

  

mil@yna.co.kr
(END)
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