Samsung is going to close down its ChatON mobile messaging app on February 1 next year. In a statement, the electronics manufacturer said, “ChatOn will be discontinued in all markets except the U.S.” It claims the decision is so it can focus on its “core services,” and is only remaining active in America until March, possibly due to contractual obligations with certain networks.
ChatOn’s closure isn’t unexpected. At the end of November, local reports from Korea said Samsung was planning to slowly close down the service due to falling profits. At the time, it was stated the closure would be performed on a region-by-region basis, but this has obviously been changed. At the time, the news was overshadowed by reports of lower than expected Galaxy S5 sales.
In its report on the subject, Yonhap News says Samsung will let ChatOn subscribers save their chat records, photos, and any videos which have been shared, prior to its shutdown. Samsung provided the publication with a slightly different statement, saying ChatOn’s demise is so it can “meet the demands of the market,” and instead of a messaging service, it’ll focus on “health and mobile commerce.”
Despite coming pre-installed on Samsung’s very popular Android phones, and being available as a standalone app for most smartphone operating systems, ChatOn only managed to attract approximately 100 million users at its peak. Cross-platform messaging is a competitive market, and ChatOn’s share was comparatively small. WhatsApp claims to have at least 600 million active users, while WeChat says it has around 400 million, a similar number to Line. All offer a wide variety of additional services to keep chatters interested.
ChatOn was announced back in 2011.
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