Social media (SNS) marketing in Korea – digital marketing in Korea part 5

Korea top social media apps sns marketing
What are the most used social networks in Korea? That is a difficult questions to answer, it depends on many things! Do you count page views, time spent, on mobile app or desktop? Several different sources say different things, but the most popular social media apps in Korea, according to data from WiseApp (Android users) and Google Play (November, December 2017) are:

Google Play
Even Obama uses Kakao
Band of brothers and sisters
Who doesn’t watch videos here?
For (wannabe) hipsters
Band of brothers and sisters
Like me or I … you
Old, unfashionable people post here
Naver Cafe
Korea’s biggest café
Like me or I … you
Old, unfashionable people post here
For (wannabe) hipsters
Choo choo! Get on the crypto train!
Korea’s Snapchat
Home of gifs
Naver Cafe
Korea’s biggest café
Daum Cafe
When the biggest café is full
Daum Cafe
When the biggest café is full
Messaging app for gwiyomis
There is a “line” at the friends store
Naver Blog
Look for $100K influencers here

Note: Google Play does not count KakaoTalk or YouTube as social media. Android has roughly 71% market share vs. 28% iOS.

Top 10 social media apps in Korea


One Store

There is a Korean “One Store” run by telecom companies and Naver that competes with Google Play and App Store, however. It has a 39% market share. Facebook is also experimenting with food ordering, and is helping startups in Korea to go global. Six million Koreans use Instagram.

Want to register your app at the One Store? Then follow the steps below!

  1. Sign up at “One Store developer center” (
    1. Business license and address are needed. 
  2. Select “Apps” → Register App 
    1. Fill in app’s name and description. 
  3. Seller’s information
    1. Product name: app’s name 
    2. Sample description: less than 100 characters
    3. Product description: less than 1,300 characters
    4. Images: images size 1024 X 500 pixels 
    5. Representative icon: register app icon 512 X 512 pixel size
    6. Screenshot: capture app screen and register less than 8 images 
    7. Category: select product type category and use grade
    8. Keywords: enter keywords describing the app
    9. Product title for search: enter the subject name that users search for 
    10. Location information: No.
    11. Personal Information: enter the URL address of the privacy policy.
    12. Seller info: enter seller name, email address, phone number, website, etc.
  4. Price and distribution information: Put price and bank account for receiving money 
  5. Request verification
  6. Registering after screening → Change status to “on sale”

There are images about registering apps on the Onestore: 


As for demographics, younger people (people in their 10s and 20s) prefer Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, older people (40s and 50s) use KakaoStory and Band. According to another study, YouTube is the most popular with teens.



What about the importance of smartphones and tablets? The majority of traffic now comes from mobile, in categories like restaurants (and with younger people) it can be higher than 57%. In Korea, “84 percent use SNS through their mobile devices while only 1.5 percent used personal computers.”


What is the significance of all this? More and more advertising budget is spent on mobile and online. The Korean advertising market grew 15% in 2016 and 32% (1.75 trillion won) was spent on digital. Of digital, 49% went to mobile. This meant a growth of 36% compared to the year before (the largest growth among sectors). Interesting detail is that streaming ads grew the most. Koreans do not like to pay for online news, magazines and books (including webtoons). The biggest agencies are Cheil, Innocean and HS Ad. Respectively, they are associated with Samsung, Hyundai and LG – surprise!  
There is also criticism of online commercials. It is not clear on which websites (display, banner) ads appear. Also, some people wonder whether programmatic (automatic) ads are effective. Then, there are new developments like the Brave browser blockchain which has its own cryptocurrency: “it prevents sites from tracking a user and blocks ads, while also bypassing the anti-ad-blocker protection used by major news sites.” (Google AdWords and Facebook ads still show.) 
This is the fifth part of the series: What is the current state of digital marketing in Korea and how did it develop in the past few years? Follow the links for the:

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