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News Summary: Messaging apps show Asia mobile rise

The Associated Press

In this Aug. 20, 2012 photo, a woman opens Kakao Talk, a South Korean mobile messaging app with more than 60 million users, on her smartphone in Seoul, South Korea. A handful of smartphone apps that began as basic instant messaging services have amassed several hundred million users in Asia in just a couple of years, mounting a challenge to the popularity of online hangouts such as Facebook as they branch into games, e-commerce, celebrity news and other areas. (AP Photo/Hye Soo Nah)

POPULAR: A handful of smartphone apps that began as basic instant messaging services have amassed several hundred million users in Asia in just a couple of years. They have branched into games, e-commerce, celebrity news and other areas.

COMPETITION: It's a challenge to the popularity of online hangouts such as Facebook.

SIGNIFICANCE: The rapid growth of such applications shows that people are increasingly going online using mobile phones and other wireless devices.