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Dog gone! KakaoTalk to remove all free character emojis

Jan. 31, 2024 - 14:12 By Lim Jae-seong

KakaoTalk emojis based on Kakao Friends characters (Kakao)

Kakao Friend emojis will gradually be discontinued on KakaoTalk, South Korea’s No.1 messaging app.

The app’s operator Kakao decided to end all free Kakao Friends emoji services, but details of the plan are under consideration, according to local media reports Wednesday.

The emojis are 34 non-moving images showing various expressions by the five initial member characters of Kakao Friends -- animal or fruit-based characters licensed by Kakao.

The emojis have received broad love from users since 2012, three years after the app’s launch, and contributed to the success of the Kakao Friends character series.

Kakao Friends emoticons - moving images offered in subscription or free of charge - will not be affected by the end of the emoji service.

Ahead of the end fo the free emoji service, Kakao removed its 82 unique emojis not using the Friends characters from KakaoTalk’s 10.5.0 version update, which was issued a week ago.

The move follows the decrease in the number of emoji users, as people prefer KakaoTalk’s emoticon service, which offers moving images, Kakao explained.

KakaoTalk emojis removed with the 10.5.0 version update (Kakao)