Taiwanese spam-blocking application Whoscall reached 10 million downloads in South Korea, according to Naver Corp.
South Korea has recently been through some scandals relating to personal data, with 104 million accounts being leaked through three credit card companies (KB Kookmin, NH Nonghyup and Lotte). Despite apologies from these companies, and assurances by all the others, South Koreans have started growing weary about privacy and have been trying to find more ways to protect themselves from spammers and unwanted callers.
This might turn out to be the right application at the right time for these times then, since users take advantage of its database of 600 million users to identify and block strange or unwanted phone calls.
Whoscall originated in Taiwan, where at first it started gathering data from the yellow pages and the Google places API but, as it grew, it came to rely more and more on crowdsourcing.
Whoscall, which is run by Gogolook, is currently being used in 40 different countries and is available in 17 different languages. It was acquired by Korea company Naver’s affiliate Camp Mobile Corp late last year. Naver is South Korea’s most visited portal, as well as the owner of messaging services Line and Kakaotalk. With Facebook’s recent purchase of Whatsapp, the online messaging services seem to be trying to carve out their global footprints.