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More Korean seniors familiar with instant messengers

The number of South Korean seniors using instant messengers increased sharply in 2015 from a year earlier in line with a jump in the use of smartphones, government data showed Wednesday.

Around 72 percent of South Koreans aged 60 and above used instant messengers such as KakaoTalk or Skype, compared to the 62.6 percent posted at end-2014, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Science, ICT, and Future Planning and the Korea Internet & Security Agency.

The figure stood at 90 percent for all South Koreans aged six and above. Of the respondents, 97.2 percent said they accessed the instant messengers through smartphones.

The smartphone penetration rate of South Korea is estimated to be 86.4 percent for 2015, up 2.3 percentage points from a year earlier. In contrast, the number of PC users edged down 1.1 percentage points over the cited period to 77.1 percent, the data also showed.

More than 85 percent of South Koreans aged three and above had access to the Internet over the past one-month period.

Around 57 percent of females shopped online, hovering above the male numbers at 50.3 percent. Nearly 70 percent of online shoppers made purchases through smartphones.

The survey was had 63,218 respondents from 250,000 households of major cities from August to October this year. (Yonhap)
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