You’ve just stepped into the company’s executive chat room to fill in for a vacationing department head. It’s hard to say “I’m leaving,” and it’s burdensome to see an exit notification. There must have been a lot of people who were wondering whether it would be better to leave at 3 am when no one would see it, or when it would be buried under a flood of other chats. When the ‘Quietly Leave’ feature was added to KakaoTalk chat not long ago, there were a lot of people asking, “Why did you wait until now?” Who made this feature, which allows you to leave a chat room without leaving any traces, and how? We went to the ‘Kakao Pangyo Hideout’ in Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do.
Meeting the person in charge of ‘KakaoTalk Announcements’
There are so many people who work together to create KakaoTalk features, from planning to development to design, that it’s hard to name a single person. After some discussion, we interviewed Changmin Jung, a third-year manager in charge of planning KakaoTalk services, because he is also in charge of KakaoTalk Announcements. Jung is a 15th-year student who majored in fashion design and newspaper broadcasting, and is a member of the “KakaoTalk generation,” which means that KakaoTalk (launched in 2010) has been around since he first used a smartphone. She works 100% from home and only comes into the office about once a month, and does most of her work on KakaoTalk.
Changmin Jung is in charge of KakaoTalk’s planning service and announcements. The ‘labor song’ he listens to while working is ″Newzine’s HIPBOY~″. It was a hit song last year, but he says, “As summer approaches, I want to listen to it more.
Why did it take until now to introduce the ‘Quietly Exit’ feature, even though there were so many people who wanted it that a bill was introduced in the National Assembly.
“It was the feature that had the most twists and turns to get here,” he says, “with people from different departments going back and forth until the very last minute. It wasn’t technically more difficult, but it was more about whether or not it was the right thing for KakaoTalk.”
The idea of being prompted to enter or leave a chat room has been around since KakaoTalk was first introduced as a way to communicate, and it was perceived as an identity-like feature. The idea was that people could talk to each other without realizing that the other person had left, or without the frustration of not knowing where they left off.
In fact, when the feature was first rolled out to paid team chat rooms at the end of last year, there was a disaster: the company announced the location of a farewell party for a departing employee in the team room, but the guest of honor ended up in the wrong place because he had ‘quietly left’ without anyone knowing.
” “Not knowing when someone left the chat room can make communication uncomfortable, and the ‘right of the speaker’ to know if the other person is listening is important, but the consensus was that we should protect the ‘right of the listener’ to leave quietly.” “
The right not to be called out in a chat room
Changmin Jung was also involved in creating another feature that protects the listener’s right to be heard: the ability to decline when invited to a group chat room.
“Anyone can call you into a Hangout if they can get your phone number somehow,” he says, “so it’s not uncommon for people who don’t know you to invite you out of the blue and send you advertisements. My parents have had this happen to them, and they’ve been embarrassed by it. But now you can just say no to a Hangout invitation from someone who’s not on your friends list.”
When KakaoTalk officially added the ability to decline an invitation to a chat room from someone not on your friend list last month, users were flooded with praise.
The feature, which guarantees the “right not to be called out,” was officially introduced this spring, and Jung was surprised by the outpouring of praise.
“I knew my parents were inconvenienced, but I didn’t realize how many people were burdened by ‘unknown invitations’.”
How long does it take to develop a feature like this?
“It usually takes about two months. We have people from planning, development, and design working back and forth. There’s nothing technically difficult that we can’t do. The biggest challenge is deciding which features to introduce first and how to do it.”
Catering to 48 million users is a challenge
In the first quarter of this year, KakaoTalk surpassed 48 million users, which means there are a lot of different needs. In fact, when I asked, “Why doesn’t KakaoTalk on PC have a ‘bookmarking’ feature that allows you to mark certain parts of the app스포츠토토,” the response was, “Should KakaoTalk on PC and KakaoTalk on smartphones be bookmarked the same or should they be set differently?”
The answer is that it’s not easy to decide on even a small feature because each person wants something different.
“We get a lot of requests for fixes, and we get a lot of requests for customer service every day, and the hardest part is prioritizing them and figuring out how to make everyone happy.”
With so many users, the service has to be a “universal service” that anyone can use, not a “personalized service” that takes into account age, gender, region, or profession.
However, there are some features that were developed despite the relatively small number of users. This is the ‘memorial profile’ feature, which allows users to mourn the loss of a loved one.
Sending KakaoTalk to Heaven
If you don’t access your KakaoTalk account for more than a year, or if you cancel your cell phone number, you can’t use it. This is for the safety of our users, but there have been many bereaved families who have sent us long stories about how they can’t keep their loved ones’ KakaoTalk accounts.
In response to these requests, our feature managers gathered opinions.
” “We all agreed that we should make this feature, even if there aren’t many users, because there aren’t many other apps that we can refer to, so it was hard to make it. But the bereaved families gave us valuable feedback, and we were encouraged that we should make it well and that we are the only ones who can do this.” “
Now, if the immediate family requests it, they can keep the deceased’s account for five, ten years. In every chat room the deceased was in during their lifetime, a message says “OO has been converted to a friend you’ll remember”.
The deceased’s profile is now “(unknown)”.