South Korea: social network penetration Q3 2019

According to a survey conducted in the second and third quarter of 2019, around 83 percent of South Koreans reported to use YouYube, followed by KakaoTalk. KakaoTalk is a messaging app developed in South Korea and owned by Kakao Corporation.

Kakao Talk

KakaoTalk, often referred to as KaTalk, is a free mobile messenger for smartphones. Since its launch in 2010, it has grown to have around 45.19 million monthly active users in the first quarter of 2020. While the application is free to use, the company sells so called emoticons in their app-shop. Emoticons are stickers, most often depicting popular characters, that the users can send to their contacts in the chatrooms. Kakao’s own characters, “Kakao Friends” became fashionable enough to be sold in KakaoTalk merchandise stores all over the country. As of 2017, it was reported that the company was selling around 5.5 thousand sticker packs in their mobile store.

Social media usage

South Korea has the fastest internet worldwide as well as an internet penetration rate of roughly 96 percent as of 2018. Naturally, the majority of citizens use social media on a daily basis. While older generations prefer domestic platforms, like Naver BAND, younger social media users are also drawn to international platforms, for example Facebook. Nevertheless, YouTube is widely popular among South Koreans of all ages. In a survey among 19 to 59-year-old consumers, only 0.8 percent of respondents stated that they have never heard of the streaming platform. According to Reuters, around 47 percent of respondents aged 55 years or older used YouTube as a news source.

Penetration of leading social networks in South Korea as of 3rd quarter 2019

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Release date

February 2020


South Korea

Survey time period

Q3 2019

Age group

16 to 64 years

Supplementary notes


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Statistics on "Social media usage in South Korea"

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