Sunday, January 29, 2017

Stats on Google vs Naver look different depending on data


Real quick, here are two data sets I found just now about the market-share between Google and Naver in South Korea. Unsurprisingly, sources from outside Korea pin Google/Chrome at much higher use percentages than domestic sources do.

Why I'm suspicious


In the last post I mentioned how my own unscientific observations suggest that while some people (usually men in their 20s-30s, but my sample is biased) are savvy about using Chrome (and switching to IE when necessary), most people I interact with still use IE. Partly IE is still just associated in people's mind with the internet in a way Google isn't, but also all the old issues of personal need (banking, shopping, government appointments) and professional need (corporate websites and webapps).

I had noted data from a Korea Times article that cited the firm StatCounter to suggest that Chrome was already the dominant browser here at 50% market share, with IE dying off at 35%:
According to data by web traffic analysis firm StatCounter, Chrome topped the list of the local web browser market share with 55 percent, with IE coming in second with a 35 percent share as of last month.
NTS under fire for not offering services for Chrome users
Sure enough, if you check it, you can see that according to StatsCounter, preference for Chrome surpassed IE sometime around January 2016 (one year ago).

Market share of browsers in Korea, 2016. Image: StatCounter

That stat seemed off to me, so out of curiosity I clicked over to their search engine rankings.

Search Engines: Google beats Naver?


StatCounter's data for Search Engine use in Korea seemed to only work for 2016 (at least, I couldn't get the thing to respond when I told it to stretch the data back to 2015 or 2014. Maybe you could have better luck). Here's what they show:

Search engine share in Korea for 2016. Image: StatCounter

So according to them, Google has been beating out Naver for searches in Korea since well before 2016, and at a pretty incredible rate difference. Like 70% to 20%. That just doesn't seem right.

And of course, if you ask local sources, you get almost totally flip flopped results.

Search Engines: Naver beats Google?


Here are some quick recent stats from domestic sources.

17일 닐슨코리안클릭에 따르면, 지난달 네이버의 PC 검색 쿼리는 총 26억5100만개로 다음(5억4000만건)을 크게 앞질렀다. 네이버와 다음의 PC 검색 쿼리 점유율은 각각 75.3%, 15.4%였다.
[네이버 독주와 질주]① 검색시장 장악한 네이버의 광고 오염...윤리 의식 실종에 '가짜 전문병원'도 버젓이 노출 - Chosunbiz - 프리미엄 경제 파워

So according to this, as of December 2016, Naver was still pulling in a good 75% of local searches, with Daum at 15%. These are for desktop, but so are the StatCounter results.

In fact, information from a parliamentary audit suggested that Naver actually handles nearly 90% of searches (a fact the article cites as detremental to news biases):
[국감2016] 네이버 국내 검색점유율 87.2%, 독과점 심각

That Chosun Biz article cited their data from Nielsen Korea, which also lets you check their data in tables. According to them, here were the top frequented sites on both desktop and mobile for December 2016:

Top 5 visited sites in Korea, Desktop, Dec 2016. Image: Nielsen Korea
If you can't read the chart:

Top Visited Sites in Korea, Desktop, Dec 2016

  1. naver.com
  2. daum.net
  3. tistory.com
  4. youtube.com
  5. google.com

And for mobile:

Top 5 visited sites in Korea, Desktop, Dec 2016. Image: Nielsen Korea

If you can't read the chart:

Top Visited Sites in Korea, Mobile, Dec 2016

  1. naver.com
  2. google.co.kr
  3. daum.net
  4. gmarket.co.kr
  5. tistory.com


So who wins?


I don't know. I'm just a guy with a blog. But I would definitely be skeptical of any Korean data that comes out of foreign sites. Two of my favorite examples are the times Vice said that Baidu is the top search engine in Korea, and when triple-X sites release stats on Korea when the vast majority of major sites of those persuasion are blocked, leading every Korean teen boy to know how to use VPNs and torrents to satisfy their needs. I'd guess a good swath of porn traffic from Hong Kong or The Netherlands is in fact Koreans. I've talked about both those shady stat measurings before:




Bear in mind too that Naver is a portal, and plenty of people visit it for reasons other than actual searching. I'd guess actual typed searches pale in comparison to news clicks.

Anyway the lesson is to take certain stats with a grain of salt. That's a phrase GIKorea over at ROKDrop is fond of using for political news out of North Korea, and I'd say the same applies to stats about internet use in South Korea, especially if they come from abroad.

Read more ...

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Naver releases AudioClip app (in English!)


Naver's continuing to release English features, and this time there's a new mobile app called AudioClip (오디오클립). AudioClip seems like a mini-podcast app. Like Twitter is microblogs, AudioClip seems for mini-podcasts.

Update: here's an official promo image.

Naver AudioClip mini-podcast-like app. Image: Naver

You can subscribe to various channels and get their 5~15 minute podcasts, many of which seem to include visual content that you can scroll through that enhances the audio content but isn't necessary. For example, there's a currently popular channel of narrated childrens' stories, with accompanying illustrations.

Here's how Naver describes it in their English description:
AudioClip is an audio content platform where you can encounter various stories by listening to
different kinds of audio technology of NAVER.
* Follow channels of interest
: Choose your favorite channels among various categories like humanism, history,
language, science, culture, health, and arts, and follow them.
* Listen with visual materials
: Listen to the contents by looking at images or descriptions and make a more abundant experience.

I just downloaded and played with it for 10 minutes. I'll just throw up some quick screenshots here. You'll get the idea.



Here's a podcast of Korean language stories geared for foreign learners. Note the content itself is in Korean but the app features (navigation, buttons, menus, etc) are all in English. Each episode of a podcast is called a Clip.



Here's an example of the visual content accompanying a story that you can scroll through. Using this makes it feel more like a sort of interactive storybook than just a podcast.



Here's the page to show your account settings. Nicely, you don't even need to log-in to listen to channels or shows, but you do need to login (with a Naver account) to leave subscribe or leave comments etc.



The settings page, all in English.


Download it here:


Read more ...

Friday, January 27, 2017

Twitter offers a fire chicken emoji for Lunar New Year 2017


Twitter is showing a cute fire rooster (불닭) emoji when you use the hashtag #2017어서오계 or variations of #LunarNewYear. You can see it from now until February 12.



2017 will be the year of the rooster, and this round it matches with the fire element. Lunar New Year, or Seollal in Korean, is this Saturday (a fact Google knows just by searching "seollal").

Here's the fiery chicken image it triggers:

Image: Twitter

Cute, and frankly, looks delicious. It works in the app too but seems like it doesn't appear in embedded tweets:



Facebook also included the fire chicken in its Lunar New Year celebration message:


Read more ...

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Naver's Whale browser - my thoughts and a screenshot tour


Naver is starting to release their own Chrome-like browser called Whale. I downloaded it tonight and tried it out, so now I give you my thoughts and impressions, along with a screenshot-heavy tour of some of Whale's signature features.

If you are familiar with Chrome, you will find Whale very familiar – it's built on top of the Chromium source. You can download the Windows version right now (Mac and Linux versions coming soon), but It is currently in beta release, so you'll need an activation code to complete the installation. I just signed-up with my email and they sent the code a couple of days ago (along with two additional codes for friends). So let me take you on a tour of this white Whale. Call me Ishmael.

Whale Tour


Opening


When you launch Whale, you get this welcome page.

Whale-opening


Everything looks and works familiarly. Those buttons at top-right are for some of Whale's special features:

  • refresh, and 
  • bookmark of course, but then 
  • a Screen Capture tool, 
  • Space (split-screen browsing), 
  • Sidebar (mini windows with various tools I'll outline below), 
  • Login (to your Naver account), and 
  • the three-dot menu.

(By the way, that message that popped up was asking me about viewing methods. It recommended a high-contrast plugin, probably because my Windows theme uses a dark high-contrast theme. I doubt normal people would see this message.)

Naturally, the first thing I did was visit my own blog, and add it to the bookmarks bar.

Whale-mysite


You'll notice that there's a new button in that top-right section: a blue glowing "A". This is the auto-detected translation feature, which makes use of Naver's own Papago translation technology. Click it and it will translate the page. More on that in a second.

Bookmarks and search in Omnibox


Let's start typing in the Omnibox (just realized it's called that now instead of omnibar).

Whale-search-omnibar


Search recommendations from Naver automatically start to populate, just as with Google results on Chrome. You can change the default search engine from Naver to Google or others in the settings.

Meanwhile, clicking in the omnibox will bring up popular Naver sites, as well as lists some of your recently visited sites. This is definitely going to help keep you in the Naver ecosystem.

Whale-default-bookmarks


New tab page


Time to open a new tab. Let's see what we get.

Whale-newtab


That's pretty. Very Bing-like. Current weather, a list of your visited sites, and an auto-updating ticker of current popular Naver searches round out the bottom of the page.

Whale-newtab-popularsearches

Click the popular search ticker to get the whole list. By the way, #2 on that list is likely trending because of this.

Translation


Now back to that auto-detected translation.

Whale-autotranslate-option

Click it, and a pop-up will confirm the language pair. It recognized that my blog is English and will convert to Korean.

Whale-mysite-translated

And there it is. This makes use of Naver's Papago translation technology, which isn't half-bad most of the time. I find it to be generally on-par with Google, though of course far from perfect. A glance over at my bio there shows the limits of automated translation. Read about Papago here, and I took a look at the Papago Android app here.

It also automatically brings up a translation and definition box if you double click a foreign word.

Whale-translate-popup

What's Snapchat? Double click it and boom, it explains right there that it's a famous SNS photo app. That's handy.

Sidebar


One of the touted features of Whale is the sidebar, which supposedly offers various convenient tools. I personally find this more of a gimmick than something useful. Activate the Sidebar by clicking that orange button in the top-right below, or you can pin it so it's always there. Let's look at what's inside the Sidebar.

Quick search


Whale-sidebar-quicksearch

This opens a quick Naver search window, basically just the Naver mobile site. You can do a manual search here, or double click on keywords on the page and initiate it from the pop up definitions/translations box. I just did a search for girl group 2NE1 and get Naver's card-like results back. Not sure how this is better than the results just opening in a new tab.

Widgets


This mini-tab includes a set of widgets, including:
  • A clock that displays both the current time and the time according to the webpage you are on
    (I know what you're thinking, but this is actually a useful feature to Koreans who depend on getting the server's exact time right when, for example, buying quick-to-sell-out concert tickets or train tickets, or very often, college students trying to register for classes that are 1st-come-1st-served right when registration hour opens up.)
  • A calculator
  • A calendar
  • A unit converter
  • A currency converter
  • A stock ticker
You may recall that many of these widgets are also included in Swing Browser, another Korean homegrown browser that seems more and more like Whale's prototype.
Whale-sidebar-widgets


Sorry for this terrible photo. I wanted to show the calculator and the unit converter. I don't care enough to go back and do a better screenshot right now. Please understand my situation.

For me, I prefer how Google triggers infobox results like this when you search for stocks or unit conversions, etc. If your business work depended on checking this info multiple times throughout the day, then maybe. For me, it's a distraction.

Belli scrapbook


I'm not sure what they mean by "belli" (밸리). The belly of the whale? This is a sort of scrapbooker tool. If you are familiar with the Google Keep Chrome extension, it's very similar. You can clip websites which get stored in this list, can be organized by categories, can have notes added, and are also available at the site https://belli.naver.com/mybelli

You can see below that I added a few sample pages.

Whale-sidebar-belli

To add a page to your belli, just click the little whale-tail icon in the URL bar, between Refresh and Star (bookmark). It will turn golden if the page is added.

Papago translation


Whale-sidebar-papago

The sidebar also includes a direct access to papago translation. Bonus points to you if you can sing that song I translated there without crying or being overemotional.

Mobile Window


This is just another little side window that loads the mobile version of a site. It's meant to keep your Facebook Newsfeed or etc. handy while you browse other stuff. Honestly I don't know why this stuff can't just be in other tabs. All these little side windows give an otherwise minimalistic and smooth Whale browser a clunky, 2005 feeling.

Whale-sidebar-customsite-selector

You can choose from their suggested sites, including Naver, Instagram, Webtoons, Facebook, Band, etc.

Whale-sidebar-customsite

I just added my own blog, which auto-loaded in the mobile view. Pretty useless except for using it with Twitter or Facebook.

Whale Space


Another highlighted feature is Space, which just means split-screen browsing. On any page, click the top-right button that looks like a window cut in half, and it will open a new blank space to the right. Now, any link you click in the left side will open in the right side.

Whale-whalespace-works

It works fairly well for some sites. For example, the YouTube page above auto-shrunk in width to maintain a good view.

But other sites, like the Korea Times, don't auto-adapt to the size of the window, forcing you to scroll and making the feature useless.

Whale-whalespace-doesntwork

As someone who middle-clicks to open a thousand links in other tabs, this would drive me insane. Split screen browsing is one of those gimmicks that sounds cool until you use it once and realize you'll never use it again. Maybe that's just me.

Chrome Extensions (!) and App Store


Now this definitely caught my eye. You can add Chrome extensions straight from the Chrome Store to Whale!

Whale-Chrome-extension-added

Here I went to add Google's RSS feed finder extension. It worked, and loaded up in the top-right just like with Chrome.

Whale-Chrome-extension-works

And here it is actively working. I wonder if there are any limits to which Chrome extensions can be added?

Whale has a page in the settings menu for managing extensions (sorry, took this screenshot before adding that Chrome extension).

Whale-app-store-underconstruction

Clicking that big plus sign to find more extensions brings a pop-up saying the App Store is not yet ready. That's intriguing. Does that imply that Naver will maintain their own extensions store? Will they drop support for legitimate Chrome extensions at some point? Will Chrome be able to access and use Whale extensions? This will be interesting to see how it develops.

UPDATE: Yes, Naver is in the process (as of April 2017) of opening their own Whale Extensions store. You can find it here, although it's just a landing page right now:
https://store.whale.naver.com/extensions

Interestingly there's a link meanwhile to the Chrome Web Store that's titled 호환스토어 가기 (Compatible Extensions), so hopefully most major Chrome extensions will continue to work in Whale beyond Whale Extension Store's opening. There's also an impressive English-language Whale extensions development guide on GitHub:
GitHub - naver/whale-developers: Developers Guide for Whale Browser Extension

Settings and other pages


Just to round out the tour, here are what some key pages look like.

Whale-download-box

Here was a photo of Choa I downloaded. It brings up a small downloads box in the menu bar. I greatly prefer this behavior to Chrome's default bottom screen bar, which takes up huge screen real estate. Very good choice to manage downloads in this way.

Whale-downloads


Here's the downloads management page. Lots of categories to filter your downloads list.

Whale-history

History. Not much there at the moment. All of this can be backed up to your Naver account, and synced there.

Whale-settings

Here are some general settings, including the theme color changer. Did you notice at some point on this tour I made my theme orange? If these colors aren't enough, you can add others after logging the browser into Naver, and can also add Google Chrome themes.

Whale-readingmode

Whale has a "Reader" feature also that strips out junk for easy reading. Can you believe this was a Korea Times article? It's so… clean.

Other interesting features


Here are two other things that really caught my eye.

IE Plug-in Compatibility Mode


Whale-plugin-compatibility-mode

This is huge. Buried in the settings was this option, right now still grayed out and can't be activated. Maybe once this leaves beta it will be?

It looks like a special Plug-in Compatibility handler. If you can't see the highlighted text in the screenshot, it reads:
플러그인 호환 모드
플러그인 호환 모드를 사용하시면 금융,정부,회사 업무 사이트의 호환 문제를 해결해줍니다.
플러그인 호환 모드 사용하기
So basically, a feature that might let Internet Explorer style plug-ins work in a Chrome-based browser. It specifically says it's for financial, governmental, and corporate sites. Remember that Swing Browser's whole purpose was this ability, which I noted here. So for everyone who thought they could escape the horrors of Korean online banking and shopping, get ready to say goodbye to IE, and hello to Whale and all the same hassles.

UPDATE: It looks like this plug-in compatibility mode will only be operational for up to two years. From a recent Naver blog post:

웨일은 1년 안에 본 기능을 지원 중단하는 것으로 목표로
최대 2년까지만 지원할 예정입니다.
[출처] 플러그인 호환 모드|작성자 웨일 팀
플러그인 호환 모드 : 네이버 블로그

So even Naver thinks this is a stop-gap measure that they plan to phase out. That's a good sign, since it suggests many major sites that would require it will be updated to more open standards. In fact here's a list Naver provides of the sites that would make use of the Plug-in Compatibility mode during that transition time:
대법원인터넷등기소 www.iros.go.kr
국민건강보험공단 www.nhis.or.kr
고용보험 www.ei.go.kr
국민연금관리공단 www.nps.go.kr
근로보험공단 www.kcomwel.or.kr
민원24 www.minwon.go.kr
홈택스 www.hometax.go.kr
나이스 www.neis.go.kr
넷마블 www.netmarble.net
한게임 www.hangame.com
다음게임 game.daum.net
엠게임 www.mgame.com
So basically a list of government tax and insurance sites, and some game sites. See a bit more about this at my other post here.

RAM usage limit


Whale-settings-memory

And finally, though it's no big deal, there's a setting to manually limit how much memory Whale hogs.

My thoughts about Whale and some other stuff


I think the main thing with this Whale browser is that Naver sees a good opportunity to keep users from drifting over to Google. I'd sum it up like this:
  1. Naver wants all that sweet, sweet userdata it can collect from people being logged-in to Naver at the browser-level.  Well that's what Google does anyway with Chrome, so fair game there. 
  2. IE is on life support, Edge has zero userbase, and Koreans generally still are not adopting Chrome beyond your cool friends*, not to mention the online banking and shopping headaches. Whale is going to fill the void. Naver Pay is seriously growing in popularity for its simplicity on mobile shopping. If they can bring that ease of payment to a browser Koreans will actually use, we might see the end of IE once and for all.
  3. Whale keeps users in the Naver ecosystem and makes accessing it a breeze. Right from the first download, all your stuff is there, Naver is already the default search, etc. Nobody likes "setting up" a browser. You don't have to go fishing through links or URLs or etc.
  4. Honestly, this is good for Koreans if Whale gets the same patched codebase as Chrome. Improved routine security by basically tricking users into using "Chrome" in all but name.
  5. Did I mention the userdata? What a goldmine.
*Maybe I spoke too soon about that. That was an armchair observation based on what I've seen in the office. The cool young tech-savvy guys use Chrome but most, especially for using corporate-related sites, still use IE, since those webapps still need IE-specific handlers. But it looks like Chrome might already have shot to half for users in general:
According to data by web traffic analysis firm StatCounter, Chrome topped the list of the local web browser market share with 55 percent, with IE coming in second with a 35 percent share as of last month.
NTS under fire for not offering services for Chrome users
See here, however, for an example of why I highly doubt that stat.

Anyway, I don't know if the split screen and widgets and all that crap are useful though. I can see some users getting annoyed or confused. Good to keep them hidden behind a sidebar for the most part. It's a very usable browser, in line with a lot of Naver's recent apps, including English-language ones like Line and Papago.

I can't wait to see if they release an English-language version of Whale soon. Their website is already fully in English (http://whale.naver.com/en/) , so I'm guessing maybe so.

And if you need more Whale articles:
And if you can handle huge amounts of technical Korean, here are some tech specs and what goes on under the hood:
 
Finally I'll end this post with a piece from an interview with Naver’s head of service design, that makes me wonder what world he's living in exactly:
“The smartwatch is not designed to replace the phone, but to become another device where you can use the same services. It’s all about your lifestyle. If you’re usually at home, your main device could be your refrigerator, or your TV. It’s about being able to carry services through different devices. I think it would be fun to work on Naver services that go beyond the smartphone.”
[Eye Interview] At Naver, the user is always king
A fridge as your main device. You heard it here. Well considering how many times I get up and open it hoping there's another beer hidden somewhere that I didn't see the last time I opened it 5 minutes ago, maybe he's got a point.

Read more ...

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Most popular stickers for Naver's Snow app 2016


Naver's Snapchat-like camera-focused SNS app "SNOW" lets you add various cute overlays to your face. Face swapping was the most popular use for the camera feature in 2016, but among these cute overlay "stickers"...

SNOW's Pink Mouse and Cookie Bear selfie filters. Image: Sports Chosun


  • Koreans preferred the "pink mouse"
  • Japanese preferred the "cookie bear"
  • Chinese preferred the "drawing cat"


If you want to get lost in teen girl cuteness then check #핑크쥐 on Instagram.

Snow was a top app in Korea this year and is also popular internationally. I don't use it because, as you might have guessed, I'm not a teen girl. In fact I'm so far from being a teen girl that I feel mildly uncomfortable with the wording of the previous paragraph.

Links:
SNOW - Selfie, Motion sticker - Android Apps on Google Play
SNOW - Selfie, Motion sticker, Fun camera on the App Store
Read more ...

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Twitter emergency alerts for Seoul


Twitter has a system for sending out emergency alerts from legitimate governmental organisations, and right now, Korea has one agency participating: 서울라이프라인 "Seoul Lifeline" aka @SeoulLifeline. So if you live in Seoul, you can sign-up to get their emergency alerts. It's meant to provide fast awareness of emergency situation and extreme weather, though it seems like most of their recent tweets are just poor air quality warnings.

Screenshot of opt-in page for Seoul  Lifeline emergency alerts. Image: Twitter

I'm not sure why this is a feature if the government already sends emergency texts via SMS, and even by Line. Plus couldn't you just activate push notifications for this particular Twitter account? Anyway you can sign up here:

https://twitter.com/seoullifeline/alerts

Or follow them here:



Read more ...

Friday, January 20, 2017

Road View Choa's location (a Korean idol caught on Daum Maps)


This is old news really, but was new to me. The blog Kkuljaem recently had a post (originally from an Instiz post a few years back) about the girl group member Choa from AOA posing for a photo shoot in Gangnam right at the moment a Road View car drove by and snapped her in its street imagery.

Here was one of the official promo photos:

AOA's Choa. Image: Kkuljaem

That post cited it as Google Maps, probably for simplicity as some readers might not be familiar with Korean portal services, however it's really Daum. In fact, you can still see her in their road view archive imagery right now. Here's a screenshot I just took:

Choa caught on Daum Roadview. Image: Daum

To see it yourself, visit this link to jump to the Road View imagery for the site in Daum Maps:

http://map.daum.net/?panoid=1061283283&pan=307.0&tilt=21.4&zoom=0&map_type=TYPE_MAP&map_attribute=ROADVIEW&q=%EC%84%9C%EC%9A%B8+%EA%B0%95%EB%82%A8%EA%B5%AC+%EC%95%95%EA%B5%AC%EC%A0%95%EB%8F%99+%EB%B2%84%EA%B1%B0%ED%82%B9&urlX=508120&urlY=1119112&urlLevel=3

You won't see her there, because it defaults to the most recent imagery. Just click the date dropdown menu and select 2014년 10월. There she is.

This location is the Apgujeong Rodeo branch of Burger King. Search 버거킹 압구정로데오점 to find it.

Read more ...

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Korea in Google's 2016 Asia-Pacific apps report


Google posted their Mobile Apps in APAC: 2016 Report last month, which details trends in mobile phone usage across the Asia-Pacific region. Since I only care about Korea stuff, here are some interesting excerpts from it about Korea.

First take a look at this chart to see just how dominate Korea is in smartphone penetration and app downloads. Looks like Koreans installed something like 5 fewer apps this year, but still lead the region at well over 50. I need to get to the app store ASAP since now I realize I am really bringing down that average.

Smartphone penetration and number of installed apps in Asia-Pacific. Image: Google

Smartphone penetration and number of apps installed
Korea still reigns supreme as the top app market in the region. Although Korea’s user base may have plateaued (it’s likely close to its ceiling for smartphone penetration, and its number of apps installed fell from 57 on average last year to 53 this year), there’s still plenty of room for time spent and frequency of app usage to grow in Korea.
Koreans in particular love messaging apps. On their own, Korean users spend almost half the amount of time on social and messaging apps as the total usage from all the Southeast Asian countries combined.

Next, here's what Koreans are doing on their phones more this year than last year.

Year on Year change in daily app usage in Korea. Image: Google

When it comes to app usage, most countries in APAC use apps most often for social networking and messaging. In Japan and Korea, however, people more commonly use apps to find relevant information through Search and News apps.
The daily usage rate has increased in all app categories over the past year. The largest increases in Japan were in the Messaging category, largely driven by LINE’s increasingly strong market acceptance and popularity. In Korea, the big increase in Lifestyle and Finance apps indicates how immersed apps are to people’s social lives.

I'm guessing those finance apps are being using their phones for online banking and online shopping, since even in 2017 it's still a pain in the ass to bank and shop on desktop. Plus don't forget that Korea's Top App for 2016 was an easy-to-use money transfer app called Toss. Lifestyle apps? I wonder if Instagram and Snow (which Facebook tried to buy) or other selfie apps fit those categories. 

Read more ...

Monday, January 16, 2017

Top Korea-related YouTube videos for 2016


YouTube put up a Korean language post about the most popular Korea-related YouTube videos and channels for 2016. I know that sounds vague, but it's because they listed four categories that relate to Korea in different ways.

The categories were:
  • Top 10 Most Viewed K-pop videos worldwide
  • Top 10 Domestic Kids' Videos by worldwide views
  • Top 10 Domestic Entertainment Videos by worldwide views 
  • Top 20 Domestic Channels with the highest-growing subscriber count
Note that when I say "domestic" I'm referring to Korea, so what it really means is "Korea-originating".


Top 10 Most Viewed K-pop videos worldwide

(전 세계에서 가장 많이 본 K-Pop 뮤직비디오 Top 10)
  1. 싸이 ‘DADDY’
  2. 트와이스 ‘CHEER UP’
  3. 방탄소년단 ‘FIRE’
  4. 엑소 ‘Monster’
  5. 트와이스 ‘TT’
  6. 블랙핑크 ‘붐바야’
  7. 방탄소년단 ‘피 땀 눈물’
  8. 블랙핑크 ‘휘파람’
  9. 방탄소년단 ‘Save ME’
  10. 엑소 ‘Lotto’

Top 10 Domestic Kids' Videos by worldwide views

(전세계에서 가장 많이 본 국내 인기 키즈 영상 Top 10)
  1. EggVideos.com Learn Colors for Children
  2. Toy Jelly Learn Colors with Pokemon GO!
  3. Larva Rangers Mini Series from Animation LARVA
  4. The Little Bus Tayo [Tayo Nursery Rhymes] #01 Miss Polly Had a Dolly
  5. 핑크퐁 상어 가족 | 동물동요 | 핑크퐁! 인기동요
  6. JOUJUYOUNGTOYS 엉뚱발랄 콩순이와 친구들 3기 5화 ,6화 "할로윈 파티" 편
  7. 토이몽TV 아기인형 식사 및 똥 목욕놀이 장난감
  8. 토이마트 TV 출동 고고다이노 타요마을에 벌레가 나타났어요
  9. CarrieAndToys 캐리의 한화 아쿠아플라넷 일산 방문기
  10. 키즈스타 TV [헬로 카봇 시즌2 - 풀HD] 12화 아기 돌보기는 어려워

Top 10 Domestic Entertainment Videos by worldwide views

(전세계에서 가장 많이 본 국내 인기 엔터테인먼트 영상 Top 10)
  1. 허팝 10미터 물풍선 수영장 만들어 보았다
  2. 빨강도깨비 자들이 심쿵하는 영화 속 명장면 베스트 7
  3. 데이브 영어/한국/일본/중국 발음 차이 2탄 with 에리나 브아이
  4. Digitalsoju TV Korean Girls Try American BBQ
  5. KBS World TV 구르미 그린 달빛 [Preview - ver.1]
  6. Solfa Korean girls try to open their eyes
  7. 쿠쿠크루 차뿌시기 몰카ㅋㅋ (With G마켓)
  8. 말이야와친구들 불닭볶음면 먹방 라면 챌린지 ♡
  9. 슛포러브 이천수, 35m 밖에서 농구골대 골인시키기에 도전
  10. 체리 혜리 Noo Phuoc Thinh의 뮤비를 처음 본 한국 젊은이들


Top 20 Domestic channels with the highest-growing subscriber count

(가장 많이 성장한 국내 유튜브 채널 Top 20)
  1. 1MILLION Dance Studio
  2. PomPom
  3. 토이몬스터
  4. SM TOWN
  5. 1theK
  6. EggVideos.com
  7. BLACKPINK
  8. Nao Disney Toys
  9. BigHit Entertainment
  10. JYP Entertainment
  11. PONY Makeup
  12. BANGTANTV
  13. BIGBANG
  14. Official PSY
  15. KBS World TV
  16. Pinkfong! Kids' Songs & Stories
  17. Mnet K-Pop
  18. CarrieAndToys
  19. 도티 TV
  20. Heopop 허팝

All these rankings are from the Nov 2015~Nov 2016 period. Sorry I'm late posting this. 

My overall favorite has to be the #2 on the top entertainment videos list: 자들이 심쿵하는 영화 속 명장면 베스트 7 or the "Top 7 Best Movie Scenes That Get Men's Hearts Pumping" because it's basically just a montage of scenes where sexy and scantily clad women are being watched by men, such as when Pierce Brosnan's Bond watches through binoculars as Halle Berry surface from the waves in her bikini.


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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Heatmap of Avian Flu (AI) Distribution in Korea


This site has an interesting live map of the recent avian flu outbreaks in Korea. It's fully interactive and you can watch the infection spread from region to region. The data currently stretches from Nov 16, 2016 up to Jan 5, 2017 which was 5 days ago at time of this post. Data comes from Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (here for data in Korean) and is visualized by location, time, and even infected species.

Screenshot of the avian flu distribution map at Carto.com

Check it out yourself embedded below or at this link: 조류인플루엔자 발생 현황 (20170109 현재)



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Saturday, January 14, 2017

Naver's Recommended Courses (해외여행 코스추천): itineraries for overseas trips


Naver continues to add immediate info features similar to the "card" style used by Google's Knowledge Graph. This time, a new feature is instant "Course Recommendations" for trips abroad, or 해외여행 코스추천.

Basically, you type in a major world city name, plus the term "course" (코스, but probably better translated here as 'route' or 'itinerary') and you get back immediate suggested attractions, sites, and places to visit based on aggregated 'big data' from popular reviews by real travelers. You can then choose from several numbered "courses" that feature prepared itineraries based on things like time, distance between locations, theme, etc.  It also provides links to travel blogs that feature writings, photos, and reviews of the suggested places.

Here's the official promotional image from Naver.

Naver "Recommended Course" itenaries promo. Image: Naver

You can see there two sample courses side-by-side for Singapore. With this info you could just follow the route from one spot to the next, and it includes convenient distance and estimated walking times.

Something I find interesting is how this makes use of Google Maps data. This is a very convenient feature for Korean tourists travelling abroad, but it seems ironic that they utilize Google's vast worldwide mapping capabilities to provide the service, while foreign tourists to Korea cannot have the same convenience. I remember how shocking it was to open up Google Maps in Japan, and it just… worked. I forget how limited it is in Korea compared to other locations. But I digress.

I tried for myself to see what they would offer for London. Here's the list of Courses they suggest:

Naver recommended courses for London

  1. 시내 투어 - Downtown Tour
  2. 야경 추천코스 - Night Scenery Tour
  3. #야경 #박물관 - #Nightscene, #Museums
  4. #박물관 #궁궐 - #Museums, #Palaces
  5. #스콘 #촬영지 - #Scones, #OnLocation 
And so on. For example, Recommended Course #1 is called the 시내 투어 or Downtown Tour, and includes stops at the London Eye, Big Ben, Westminster Abby, etc.Course #5 focuses on cute cafes and filming locations of famous movies. It's easy to see how this could be a very convenient guide for Korean tourists heading abroad.

Here's the Course #1 itinerary in detail:

Naver's Recommended Course #1 for London

Naver suggests their sample recommended courses for these cities: 싱가포르 여행코스, 홍콩 코스추천, 오사카 코스, 베이징 자유여행코스. As you can see, just add 코스 to any city name to trigger the special results. It seems to work just for big cities. Sorry Tallahassee.

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