Naver shifts camera dev to SnowNaver, operator of the country’s most popular search engine, will move all teams related to its camera app business to the subsidiary developer of its Snapchat-like app Snow, the company said Friday.
“To strengthen the independence and expertise of our camera app business, we decided to consolidate all our camera-related teams and put them under Snow, which is already operating an independent camera app,” Naver said in a statement.
Accordingly, various camera apps under Line Plus, a global business subsidiary of the messaging app Line, which Naver also owns, will move to Snow as well. Line Plus developed the selfie app B612, the camera app Looks which features photo filters of various makeup, the camera app Foodie specifically for food pictures, and Line Camera.
The organizational reform will take place in May. All of the web giant’s human resources, technology and capital related to camera app services will go under one group.
Snow will issue 208,455 new shares. Line Plus will own 31.5 percent under the new arrangement and Line 17.1 percent. Naver will still hold the majority 51.4 percent.
“We are expecting positive synergy from Snow and Line,” a Naver spokesperson said.
The Snow app has surpassed 130 million downloads worldwide, while the B612 selfie app has exceeded 300 million downloads, according to the latest data from Naver.
“With unique camera filter services, Snow and B612 succeeded in securing its user base,” said Jang Won-yeol, an analyst at Shinyoung Securities. “However, unlike Snapchat, which created a profit structure by activating social networking and messaging functions in the app, they are still just camera apps for selfies.
“The apps will have to develop more content in the future and expand on social networking features to reap profit,” Jang added.
BY KIM JEE-HEE [firstname.lastname@example.org]
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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