Kakao Talk is by far the most popular social application in South Korea. It is estimated that 47 of the 51 million people in South Korea use KakaoTalk. Kakao started with a simple chat app and has grown into a huge company active in various fields with plenty of Kakao features. Koreans can live a more convenient life through the functions offered by Kakao. However, foreigners cannot use every function well because they do not know exactly how to use them. Here, I would like to talk about ten useful Kakao features besides chatting. Some are available in KakaoTalk, and others are available by downloading Kakao’s other applications. All of these things are easy to do with only a Kakao account. This article will help foreigners who have only used Kakao to text and don’t realize its other great features.
10 Kakao Features You Should Try Besides Texting
1. Kakao T
Some foreigners living in Korea may have experienced a taxi problem. Some of the issues could involve getting overcharged or being unable to communicate with the driver. Sometimes it is difficult to explain the destination in Korean if it’s not an international taxi. The taxi application called “Kakao T,” one of the Kakao features solves this inconvenience. Through the “Kakao T” app, you can call a nearby taxi by selecting the starting point and destination, the type of taxi, and the payment method, just like Uber. You can easily sign up with your Kakao account. Once you have completed your self-certification, you can call a taxi whenever you want. Make sure you select Allow for all the permissions and confirm your Korean phone number. Kakao will instantly send you a verification code, and you must input the code into the app.
There are six types of taxis offered by Kakao Taxi, including general and smart requests, which match faster.
By registering the credit card information, the application automatically calculates the estimated amount and pays in advance without worrying about the overcharge. Kakao T has a high success rate of matching and can use a variety of functions such as chauffeur service, carpooling, navigation, or parking in addition to calling taxis. Payment will be processed at the end, and you can even give your driver a rating.
2. Kakao Bus & Kakao Subway
One of the advantages of South Korea is its well-equipped public transportation system. Especially in cities, it is possible to visit everywhere by bus or subway. However, it can be difficult for foreigners because there are many different routes and stops. Kakao bus and Kakao subway help check routes at a glance. Also, it provides real-time information on the remaining time until the arrival of the vehicles. Once you check the location of the home, it tells you the way to your house anytime, anywhere. However, while using Kakao Bus, it is faster to search by the bus stop number because it may not be easy to search in English.
Kakao bus and Kakao subway provide accurate time information compared to other applications. Also, you can save bus stops on the app and even write down a note underneath the name of the stop so you know where it is.
3. Kakao Hairshop
Kakao hair shop provides helpful information if you consider getting your hair done. This is perfect when you’re worried about which hair salon you should go to or have a problem with telling the style you want. Press ‘More’ on Kakaotalk and proceed from the ‘Hairshop’ menu without downloading the app. You can choose a shop that is close to your location. Also, you can look at the pictures and press the style you like. Kakao will recommend a good hair salon for that style. You can make a payment in advance at a reasonable price. Even foreigners can use the hair salon comfortably. It is also able to make reservations at nail shops. Currently, Kakao has partnered with over 2,500 salons.
4. Kakao Gift
Kakaotalk users can buy various products or gifts through “Gifts.” It is one of the fastest-growing Kakao features. The “Gifts” section sells various products, such as clothes, home appliances, electronics, cosmetics, and flowers. These gifts are not only for others but also can be given to me. There is great content for the buyers that recommend gifts depending on the receiver’s taste and age. Famous food brands like Starbucks or McDonald’s and movie tickets are purchased as barcodes.
There are over 7,000 companies that are in partnership with Kakaotalk Gift. It is perfect when users want to give a small gift to their friends. When you look at the products in “Gifts,” press “Heart” if there’s a product you like. Your friends can see your wishlists. You may get a surprise gift when they get a notification on your birthday.
The best part is that you can customize your gift message and design your background and template. Therefore, there is no need to go to a shop to pick up a physical card or wrap presents!
5. Kakao Order
Kakao order delivers food to users. The other food delivery applications that Koreans use are difficult for foreigners because they have simple menus only written in Korean. Kakao’s order has photos of each dish and brand logos. So users can know exactly which menu they order. After entering the address and ordering the food you want, you can receive the food within 30 minutes to an hour. When you are outside, you can also proceed with the ‘Pickup reservation’. The Pick-up reservation service offers discounts. You can pay in advance and set the visit time. Kakao Order has famous franchise brands. There are not many restaurants yet, but the number is increasing.
Kakao Order should be near the Girts option. You will notice a spoon and a fork as the logo. Ensure you have your Korean address and phone number ready, as you must input this information. Search for the food you want, and once you have decided, click on 주문하기, which means “order” in Korean. Then click 결제하기 to pay the bill. If this is confusing, you should try Shuttle, a food delivery service tailored for foreigners living in Korea.
6. Kakao Calendar
The Kakao Calendar helps you create a neat, well-organized schedule. This calendar is easier for foreigners because it is also available in English. The most basic function is to be able to share schedules with friends on KakaoTalk. Within the calendar, you can designate a color that expresses the schedule according to the topic at will. For example, users can set red color for the holidays in South Korea, business schedules in blue, and family affairs in green. Above all, the advantage is that friends’ birthdays are automatically entered. This prevents mishaps that forget a friend or family’s birthday. When you enter a new schedule, you can invite a friend if you meet with someone. It will be alerted to everyone on that day.
7. Kakao Game
The k-game market is a very famous and fast-growing industry. Kakao Games, operated by Kakao, is one of the leading companies in the K-game market. It presents many kinds of mobile games. The game categories are role-playing, simulation, board, sports, puzzle, racing, shooting, strategy, action, music, and quiz. It meets the needs of various consumers. Users can also see how many people played a particular game so that they can know the popular game. Another interesting thing about Kakao games is that you can look at the Pre-Registration Games. When you get bored with games you’ve been playing, you can preview and book those games that haven’t been released. Sometimes they hold events that offer Kakao emojis or game money when you make a reservation.
My top recommendation on Kakao Games.
Black Desert Online
This is a fast-paced, action-packed combat game where you fight monsters and bosses. You can fight with your friends in a guild and siege castles. It is a very popular mobile game in Korea.
8. Kakao TV
Kakao TV makes watching TV programs on your mobile phone easy anytime, anywhere. This service mainly offers live streaming news, re-watching highlights of TV programs such as dramas, variety shows, and one-man live broadcasts. South Korea’s most representative broadcasters, including KBS, SBS, and MBC, are live on-air daily. Users can watch the news for 24 hours. Also, people can watch the main scenes of entertaining programs, dramas, sports, and others. Anyone who wants to do ‘one-man broadcasting’ can also use this Kakao TV platform. Although it is a small channel, anyone who has Kakao account and fresh ideas about broadcasts such as game broadcasting or movie reviews can challenge like a YouTuber.
Kakao M, the entertainment unit of Kakao, is now offering original content through KakaoTV. Users can watch content while chatting on the app without using other video-watching apps. Some of these contents include teaser videos and web dramas. Kakao M will add more drama series and entertainment shows shortly.
9. KakaoM (Melon ticket)
The “Melon Ticket” section, linked to a music site called “Melon,” offers tickets for various performances and exhibitions in South Korea. The types of tickets offered here are concerts, musicals, plays, classical performances, exhibitions, and various events. You can see the most popular sales rankings and preview tickets that have not yet been opened. When a user presses the “For U” menu, Kakao recommends the most suitable tickets based on his favorite artist, the preference for the performance theme, and the current location. These Kakao features have the advantage of being able to see cultural performances that are scheduled to be held in South Korea.
10. Kakao Talk Mail
The mail service is the latest Kakao features to launch (Nov. 2019). As Kakaotalk’s functions become more diverse, many companies and groups use it for business purposes. In line with this demand, Kakao has launched a mail service. Kakao mail informs you through Kakaotalk chat when important mail comes, so you can check it quickly. You can also reply directly from the chat window. It automatically categorizes the mail into shopping, social, billing, and promotions to help you maintain a clean mailbox. You can also send large emails such as pictures and videos. The received document files can be checked directly through the viewer. This will help increase the convenience of work. Currently, the PC version is supported with a mailbox capacity of 15 gigabytes.