KakaoTalk Free Calling and Messaging App Review

iPhone video chat
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KakaoTalk (also known as KaTalk) is a free communication tool for smartphone users. It offers free voice and video calling, instant messaging, and other features such as location sharing, gameplay, and scheduling.

Like market leaders WhatsApp, LINE, and Viber, KakaoTalk does not require usernames for identification, instead relying on users' mobile numbers.

KakoTalk has around 150 million users, which positions it among the most used instant messaging apps around. Still, it remains far less popular than WhatsApp — which boasts more than a billion users — and several other widely used apps. This number is important because it governs the extent to which free voice and video calls are possible. The more people use the app, the better your chances of communicating for free. 

What We Like:

  • Identifies you using only your mobile phone number 
  • Unlimited free voice and video calls and text messages to other KakaoTalk users
  • Group text messages
  • Large user base
  • Supports Android, iOS, Windows OS, Mac OS 
  • Available in 15 languages

What We Don't Like:

  • No calling or messaging to non-KakaoTalk users
  • No privacy protocol and no encryption

About KakaoTalk

KakaoTalk is a Korea-based VoIP service that resembles Viber and other numerous services that offer free calls and communication services to other in-network users.

You can use KakaoTalk to communicate only with other users; you can’t place calls to other landline or mobile numbers, not even with a paid version. As long as you have friends using it, though, this service is worth a look. A user base of about 150 million people means chances are fairly good you do.

KakaoTalk is also used as a social networking tool, to meet new people, and to chat. You can search for people using their names, their numbers, and their email accounts. In fact, people are so easy to find that it raises questions of security and privacy. Competitors have implemented end-to-end encryption, but this app has lagged in this area.

If you attempt to call a number that's not registered with the KakaoTalk, the app will let the call go through, but it will use your cell phone plan's minutes as if it's an ordinary call.

Other Features

KakaoTalk offers a lot of extra features, too.

  • Plus Friend gives you access to multimedia content such as songs and videos from artists and celebrities you add as your friends.
  • Contacts management: The app integrates your contact list and adds friends automatically to your chat sessions once they are online. You can import and export friend lists and view each friend’s mini profile. You can also register your favorite friends.
  • Audio and graphic elements. The app provides funny voice filters that you can apply to your voice when engaged in voice calls. For messaging, you have a choice of funny, animated emoticons.
  • Sharing. KakaoTalk allows you to share images, videos, links, contact information, and voice messages.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

You can use your KakaoTalk account with only one phone number. If you change your phone number, you will need to complete another number registration process.

The number of friends you can have in a group chat session in unlimited, and you can add friends to it at any time. If all the friends are KakaoTalk users, the whole session will be free for everyone. You can also choose to make voice calls to a friend in the chat session.