Daum Kakao shifts SNS focus to video with new Zap service

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Daum Kakao shifts SNS focus to video with new Zap service

Daum Kakao said Tuesday that it had launched Zap, a mobile messenger based on photos and videos.
While global social media websites like Facebook and Twitter are boosting their video services, Daum Kakao, Korea’s leading mobile messenger and portal operator, has also tapped into the video SNS market.
Unlike the nation’s largest mobile messenger KakaoTalk, which is based on texts, Zap is a messenger service through which people converse through photos and videos.
The app has a camera function, so users can take a photo as soon as they open the app and send it to their friends.
They can also write text on their shared photo or video.
Being conscious of the government’s censorship of KakaoTalk, which made headlines last year, Daum Kakao limited the time photos or videos can be seen.
After 24 hours, the photos or videos used in conversations are automatically deleted.
In addition, if there are no conversations for 48 hours among users in a chat room, the chat room disappears.
“Zap is a photo messenger that provides a new communications environment with photo-based chat rooms in which users can take photos and share them right away,” said a spokesman for Daum Kakao.
As the number of users watching and sharing videos on SNS increases, the video advertisement market is growing rapidly.
Korean social networking services are trying to respond to the trend in which teens and people in their 20s and 30s use visual media messaging services instead of texting.
Facebook said last Thursday that it has acquired video-streaming start-up QuickFire, although it didn’t disclose the size of the acquisition.
According to foreign media reports, some employees of QuickFire are expected to be absorbed by Facebook.
Vanessa Chan, a spokeswoman for Facebook, was quoted by Bloomberg as saying that video is an essential part of the Facebook experience.
“We are excited to bring QuickFire Networks on board as we continue delivering a high-quality video experience to the over 1.3 billion people who use Facebook,” the firm said in a statement.
Twitter is planning to launch a new video service and released a new webpage, video.twitter.com.
Currently, general users cannot use this webpage, but a beta test is reportedly being conducted by Twitter’s headquarters.
In 2012, Twitter acquired Vine, with which users can record a video that lasts six seconds.
For SNS companies, the video sector cannot be overlooked. More than a billion videos are being played on a daily basis on Facebook.
Last year, the number of videos that were posted on Facebook newsfeeds tripled compared to a year earlier.
Twitter Chairman Jack Dorsey, who visited Korea last November, has mentioned that Twitter will play a key role in sharing videos.
According to the market research firm EMarketer, the U.S. online and mobile video ad market for this year was expected to grow 30 percent year-on-year to $7.8 billion from $6 billion.
Unlike foreign companies, however, Korean SNS, such as KakaoStory and Band, are not making active moves in the video service sector.
“Advertisers will hope to deliver their ads through the medium of videos,” said Joyce Cho, spokeswoman for InMobi, a leading mobile advertising network operator. 

BY KIM JUNG-YOON [kjy@joongang.co.kr]
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