If there were a Starbucks index to measure the level of globalization of a country, South Korea would have a bar that would not fit in the graph. It has the highest ratio of establishments worldwide and has the only place in the franchise where the name is only written in a native language. The colors and the logo will help us to identify it, but not precisely our Korean domain. It is a completely Westernized country. Open to excessive consumerism, to the cult of cosmetics and technological devotion. But not all are welcome. They profess a self-love for their own technology. And if not, ask Google and WhatsApp.
That Korea has become the eleventh world economy in just over 60 years of existence is closely related to its obsession with digitalization. The frenetic pace of work and its commitment to perfection also influence, but new technologies have been indispensable for what is known as the miracle of the Han River. Naver is one of these proper names. For some it will be the Korean Google, although for them it is not more than its reference search engine. Three out of four searches are done here. In case anyone is tempted to think that Google was before, he will be right, just one year; but his universal search function came five years before that of Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
"It has a question and answer section [conocido como Knowledge iN] with experts and users from the most everyday to the most professional whose quality is frankly good. Naver I love to find any information you need, "says May Kim. One of the strong points that almost all its users praise is that it is not only a search engine, but a reference portal for multiple services. The same allows to read comics, which helps to do homework, create your own community on the internet or consult the encyclopedia. "Your homepage is very clear and clear. For me, the online shopping part is fundamental, but their dictionary is simply the best, "adds Kim.
To understand the impact of Naver in Korean society, it is enough to observe how its Knowledge iN is a reference for anyone who wants to solve their doubts. Yahoo! Many may come to mind Yahoo! Answers, but three years before, in 2002, this search engine developed by NHN Corp., already saw the advantages of everyone collaborating with each other. The same we find entries on politics that of restaurants in a lost town. This kind of mix between search engine and Korean wiki has a database of more than 200 million responses. "Everyone uses it," Kim summarizes.
- The courier is called KakaoTalk
With smartphones, messaging services, such as WhatsApp and Telegram, have taken most of our conversations, regardless of the country in which we are located. However, in Korea they are useless. If someone pretends to speak with a Korean, you better go to your AppStore or GooglePlay and download KakaoTalk, founded in 2010 by a former Naver leader. "I feel that it has a better design and better functions than the other tools. I think this makes it the biggest app here, "Kim summarizes. Its impact is easy to measure. The Asian country has almost 52 million inhabitants and this application, according to the latest official data, adds about 60 million users.
Communication problems arise when not everything has to be shared on Korean soil. At least that is what happens to Kenneth Hong, a multinational worker. His relationship with many partners transcends the borders of his country and, in the rest of the world, KakaoTalk means nothing. On your mobile you have installed all kinds of messaging apps as if it were a bazaar. "Of course I use KakaoTalk, but it does not make any sense that we can only chat like this. In Europe or the United States, they do not know it. In the end, we all end up downloading all of them. Although, if someone wants to talk to someone here, you know there is only one way, "Hong adds.
The development of their own tools has nothing to do with nearby countries like China, where the reason lies in the control of communications and society. WhatsApp and Google, we are in Seoul or in any other city, they work without problems. Uniqueness and technological leadership weigh more than the rest of the reasons. Even some pride. For a country besieged by so much war, Naver and KakaoTalk contribute their national stamp to centuries of invasions. Big names in technology may not be very welcome in Korea, but we'll always have a Starbucks in which to have a coffee. Things of the Koreans.