KakaoTalk, South Korea’s top mobile messenger, celebrated the 10th anniversary of its emoticon service, highlighting the jobs it has created among freelancers.
KakaoTalk emoticons that can be purchased and used in the mobile messenger of the same name, have raised 700 billion won ($586 million) in sales revenue since their launch in 2011, according to the company.
More than 300,000 emoticon editions have been sold and 220 billion emoticons have been sent among messenger users.
Five emoticons have collected more than 10 billion-won worth of sales revenue during 10 years. 43 emoticons and 92 emoticons have raised more than 10 billion won and 5 billion won, respectively. The sales revenue of 1,392 emoticons have exceeded 100 million won, during the cited period.
According to Kakao, there are 10,000 emoticon creators selling character illustrations on the platform.
Of emoticon creators, 49.9 percent were in their 20s and 34.5 percent were in their 30s, respectively. Forty-something creators took up 12.4 percent.
The youngest creator was a 12-year-old, while the oldest is Jang Eun-ju, an 81-year-old, according to a KakaoTalk official. Jang’s emoticons feature a cartoon image of a girl where she gives short remarks such as “Thank you,” “I’m doing well mom” and “Dad, you’re the best.”
“KakaoTalk emoticon has created the new job title, ‘emoticon creators.’ We discover new creators and given them a bigger stage to share their works. That, in turn, would expand the emoticon business to the next level,” the official said.
During an interview with KakaoTalk, emoticon creators shared their stories of how they made their dreams come true as character designers by setting foot in the emoticon business.
Chung Oh-mok, a creator of “Mom’s the best” emoticon, said before making debut as a KakaoTalk emoticon creator, she always felt joy after giving character illustrations as presents to her friends.
“I wanted to give joy to more people. So I made emoticons that give heartwarming messages to family. While living my dream, I was able to pay for college and even set up my own studio with the profit,” Chung said.
A creator who goes by the name Silver Bell, also said his dream was to become a 3D animator working for Disney.
“Receiving huge support from MZ generation with “Pposhiraegi Jageunkong,” emoticons, I am creating my own world in the Kakao Emoticon instead of Disney,” he said.
Pposhiraegi Jageunkong features boy and girl character illustrations that are mostly used by couples.
Another creator, Apoi, was bold enough to quit his job to enter KakaoTalk’s emoticon business. Since 2011, he has made more than 100 emoticons with 15 characters of his own.
With “Emoticon Plus,” a subscription service of KakaoTalk emoticons, users could have an unlimited access to emoticons made by all the creators, the company said. If a user types “hello,” the messenger service will recommend tons of emoticons featuring hello messages, even ones the user didn’t pay for.
As for social contribution, KakaoTalk presents “Give-ticon,” a donation channel where a portion of money used in buying an emoticon, goes to those hit by the COVID-19. Until now, more than 1.7 million users have participated in the donation, according to KakaoTalk.
Meanwhile, Kakao Corp., the operator of South Korea’s top mobile messenger KakaoTalk, recently announced the revenue from its platform business led by KakaoTalk, Kakaopay and others surged by 35 percent on-year to 778.7 billion won. Specifically, KakoTalk raised its revenue by 38 percent, the company said.
By Byun Hye-jin (email@example.com)Internet Explorer Channel Network