[Interview] Safe and Easy Data Transfer: Behind the Scenes With Samsung and KakaoTalk

on April 11, 2024
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Moving contacts, calendar reminders and photos to a new Galaxy device is a simple task when leveraging Samsung’s data transfer app Smart Switch. Up until recently, it was nearly impossible to move KakaoTalk conversations using Smart Switch without natively backing up records in the Korean messenger app. Many users experienced inconveniences when they did not consider this problem in advance.


Now, Galaxy users can rely on Smart Switch to safely and easily restore KakaoTalk data. Samsung Newsroom met with Seungho Kang from the Experience Planning Team, Mobile eXperience (MX) Business at Samsung Electronics, and Jiyoung Hwang, product manager and Talk Service planner at Kakao, to discover how the two companies collaborated to improve the data transfer experience.


▲ (From left) Seungho Kang from Samsung and Jiyoung Hwang from Kakao



From Recovering Open Chat Messages to Simplifying the Account Verification Process

Q: Smart Switch can now restore KakaoTalk conversations in their entirety. Please give us details about the new function.


Kang: When transferring data between Galaxy devices through Smart Switch, users can now easily restore their KakaoTalk conversations and related media including photos and videos. The update goes as far as to maintain the unread status of texts. Furthermore, it is now possible to save Open Chat messages — which was previously difficult to enable.


Hwang: Galaxy users will be particularly interested in the support for Open Chat conversation recovery. Due to the flexible nature of the feature, KakaoTalk did not support any backup capabilities for Open Chat in the past. However, we decided to offer restoration support for the first time given the popularity of Open Chat among Android users.


▲ Seungho Kang explains how he collaborated with Kakao


Q: How will this update make the user experience more convenient?


Kang: Previously, users had to restore KakaoTalk data through a manual or paid backup when the app was moved from their old phone to a new one. In addition, the self-verification process created a high barrier to entry for older users and those who are not familiar with the platform. Since both companies have a common goal of improving user convenience — as Samsung wants to create an effortless experience for Galaxy users setting up new devices, and KakaoTalk hopes to optimize the app for more convenient messaging — we worked to alleviate the account verification process.


Hwang: In this new update, KakaoTalk users only have to complete the account verification process once. When the data has been transferred to their new device through Smart Switch, users can enter their KakaoTalk account password to prove the transferred data is theirs. Everything can be simply and securely restored with this single verification step.



User Convenience as a Shared Value

Q: How did this collaboration between Samsung and KakaoTalk come about?


Kang: Users have wanted KakaoTalk data restoration support for some time now, but complex data security and technology policies posed some challenges. However, Samsung and Kakao agreed to develop updates at the end of last year — in a joint effort to improve user convenience.


Hwang: We wanted to launch the service as quickly as possible. During the collaboration, we communicated in real time through messenger and organized our ideas as if we were one team. We carefully discussed what aspects each company would like to support and methodically carried out development to launch the service on our target date. For me, it was a memorable experience as we were able to complete a cross-company collaboration in a short time period.


▲ (From left) Jiyoung Hwang and Seungho Kang discuss their collaboration’s achievements.


Q: What was the most important aspect of the development process?


Hwang: Security was crucial. A tight security system is necessary to reassure KakaoTalk users that their data will be protected in the case they lose their phones. Both companies deliberated over the best way to safeguard users and their data. In the end, we streamlined the account verification process and introduced a system that would invalidate data transfers if authentication was not performed within a certain time limit.



▲ Jiyoung Hwang explains the importance of protecting user data.



Samsung and KakaoTalk: Dedicated to a New User Experience

Q: Since the update, have there been any memorable reactions?


Hwang: We’ve been monitoring the app since the update was released, and seeing the positive reviews and comments makes me proud. Some people are wondering what the next level of restoration will look like — which amuses me and makes me want to leave replies.


Kang: The response to the support for Open Chat restoration has been remarkable, especially since this function was not possible before. We expect to see even more favorable reactions from users as new Galaxy devices are released moving forward.



Q: How do you feel about the collaboration on this feature? What are your future goals?


Hwang: Collaboration between companies with different interests and corporate cultures is rare and doesn’t come easy. I’ll remember this experience for a long time since our partnership was made possible because we both had our users’ best interests in mind.


Kang: This meaningful experience will serve as a guide for other collaborations in the future as we strive to provide better customer experiences. I’d like to hear users say, “I can buy a new Galaxy phone without worrying because Smart Switch will take care of the data transfer for me.” In addition to messenger apps such as KakaoTalk, Samsung is teaming up with apps from various industries to further improve how users transfer data. Keep an eye out for updates from Smart Switch to see who we will be working with next!


Committed to providing a satisfying experience for all, Samsung is always listening to the voices of Galaxy users and looking for open collaborations and product enhancements. Please follow the guide below to learn how to use the KakaoTalk restoration feature through Smart Switch.




* KakaoTalk data transfer is only possible between Galaxy devices.
* KakaoTalk data transfers are not supported from other devices with the “Use with Another Device” feature.
* Data will not be restored if KakaoTalk is already installed on the new device (remove it and reinstall through Smart Switch).
* Logins from other devices will be erased when the Kakao account verification is completed on the new device.

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