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Instagram Is Most Used App In South Korea, Beats Local Naver


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Instagram has widened its lead over Korea’s top search engine, Naver, in terms of usage hours, according to data from industry tracker Wiseapp. Korean users spent a combined 389 million hours on Instagram in May, making it the third-most used app in the country, surpassing Naver by 46.41 million hours, highlighting the significant influence of Instagram on South Korea.

This marks the second consecutive month that Instagram has outpaced Naver. In April, Instagram exceeded Naver’s usage by 13.86 million hours, becoming the third-most used smartphone app in Korea for the first time. Instagram’s rise as the most used app in Korea underscores its impact on the digital landscape, particularly among the younger demographic.

The most used app for the month was YouTube, which lasted 1.8 billion hours, followed by the mobile messenger KakaoTalk, which lasted 565 million hours. Instagram’s growing popularity places it firmly within the top Korean apps, signaling its increasing importance in the country’s digital culture.

Instagram was also activated more frequently than Naver in May. Korean users launched Instagram 1.78 billion times, while Naver saw 1.43 billion activations, demonstrating the widespread adoption and engagement with the platform. KakaoTalk led significantly with 78.7 billion activations, indicating its entrenched position as a primary communication tool in Korea.

Experts attribute Instagram’s growing presence to the popularity of its “Reels” feature, launched in 2021, which has captivated users with its short video format. Reels’ success has solidified Instagram’s position as a leading social media platform in Korea, appealing to users’ desire for creative expression and engaging content.

In response to Instagram’s dominance, Naver introduced a similar service called Clip in August last year. However, Clip has not yet made a significant impact on Naver’s usage hours or activation frequency, indicating the challenges Naver faces in competing with Instagram’s established user base and innovative features. As Instagram continues to evolve and adapt to users’ preferences, its influence in Korea’s digital landscape is likely to remain strong, reshaping how Koreans interact and consume content online.

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