KakaoTalk finally ditches support for its Windows Phone app

by Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
Radu Tyrsina
CEO & Founder
Radu Tyrsina has been a Windows fan ever since he got his first PC, a Pentium III (a monster at that time). For most of the kids of... read more
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Another Windows Phone app bites the dust. This time, it’s KakaoTalk, a cross-platform messaging app that gained wide popularity on its home turf South Korea.

Like other popular messaging apps, KakaoTalk lets users send and receive photos, videos, voice notes, and files. Fun character emoticons and stickers are also available to those fond of expressing their emotions in a more creative way. The app also allows users to exchange gifts and pay for them using their phones, though this feature is available only on Android and iOS platforms.

News of KAKAO Inc.’s plan to discontinue the app on the Windows Phone platform this month first floated in October. It’s curious, however, that KakaoTalk lost life support ahead of the December 15 due date.

Poor market performance

Although KAKAO did not provide an explanation for its move, the reason is clear if Windows Phone’s market performance is any indication. KakaoTalk is just one of the many apps that has chosen to leave Windows Phone this year as the platform continues to lose market share.

In November 2016 alone, Windows Phone accounted only for 1.75% of the market according to NetMarketShare. It makes no sense, therefore, for developers to continue building or supporting apps for Microsoft’s mobile ecosystem.

KakaoTalk’s limited popularity could also be another factor. While the app is popular in Asia, it holds a small chunk of market share outside of that region.

Some users are now noticing the removal of KakaoTalk from the Windows Store listing. Others are reporting they can no longer send or receive any messages using their Windows Phone devices, though previous messages can still be read.

For those using the app on their Windows phones, switching to another messaging app seems to be the most convenient way to cope with KakaoTalk’s removal right now. Does KaKaoTalk’s early departure from the Windows Phone ecosystem surprise you? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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