What is Naver? A Quick & Easy Introduction

What is Naver? | A Quick Introduction to the Korean Giant

What is Naver?

One excellent method for learning a language we always recommend is changing your phone language to your target language.

With that being said, if you are learning Korean you may well want to start using Naver in Korean as well.

Or perhaps you are just curious as to what is Naver and how can you use it.

In this article we will introduce you to Naver, have a look at the most useful features for Korean language learners and some essential vocabulary you need to use Naver smoothly.

BONUS || If you are also a Chinese language learner, we wrote an introduction to Baidu, the most popular Chinese search engine.

What is Naver | Introduction

What is Naver | Features

What is Naver | Essential Vocabulary

What is Naver | Useful Resources

What is Naver | FAQs

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What is Naver? | An Introduction

Despite being called the “Google of South Korea” Naver is rather a sort of portal (think Yahoo), giving access to a plethora of other services in addition to being a search engine.

Naver was founded in 1999 (Google in 1998) by a group of Samsung ex-employees.

It kept growing to become South Korea’s #1 online platform by regularly launching new services such as:

  • Junior Naver (쥬니어 네이버), 1999 – Children’s search service
  • Knowledge iN (네이버 지식인), 2002 – Q&A platform
  • Naver Blog (네이버 블로그), 2003 – Personal blogs
  • Naver Cafe (네이버 카페), 2003 – Communities
  • Naver Webtoon (네이버 웹툰), 2004 – Webcomic platform
  • V Live, 2015 – Streaming platform
  • Naver Papago (네이버 파파고), 2017 – Online Translator

Naver works as a “one-stop platform” where users can find everything they need on one single page, from websites, images, communities, movies etc.

Nowadays Naver offers many features, which we will detail in the next chapter.

What is Naver? | Features

If you’ve already had a look at Naver, you will know that there is A LOT going on!

As most of us are used to the minimalistic interface of Google, we might find Naver to be over crowded with information and links, making it difficult to navigate.

We will introduce the most interesting features Naver has to offer, so you get some basic knowledge of what to look for.

Knowledge iN

Knowledge iN was launched in 2002 and is a Q&A platform, meaning people can ask questions and receive answers from other users.

DID YOU KNOW? | According to the former Vice President of Product Strategy at Yahoo! Bradley Horowitz, Knowledge iN (or Knowledge Search as it was called previously) was the inspiration behind Yahoo! Answers.

With Knowledge iN, Naver quickly took over Daum, another Korean search engine, as users’ favourite search tool.

Over time there has been however some backlash about Knowledge iN, as there is very limited control over source verification leading to poor quality content.

Naver Blog & Naver Cafe

Naver Blog and Naver Cafe were both created in 2003. They are still two of the most popular features of the portal to this day.

  • Naver Blog is one of Naver’s main services and is used to share personal experiences but businesses also use it to create profiles and share about their products.

According to Eastforte, half of the Korean population has a blog on Naver.

  • Naver Cafe is a service allowing users to create their own internet communities based on their own personal interests. One could compare it to a Facebook group, where you need to send a request to join. You can then post thoughts and opinions, images and so on.

Naver Webtoon

Now simply called WEBTOON, this Naver feature was launched in 2004.

As you’d expect from the name, this is a platform where professional artists can publish webtoons and webcomics.

Originally this was solely available in South Korea, but WEBTOON entered the Japanese and Chinese market in 2016, and in 2020.

WEBTOON launched multiple contests and competitions over the years, where artists from all over the world can participate and win big prizes.

Many animes, movies and K-dramas are based off webcomics from WEBTOON, some the best examples being My ID is Gangnam Beauty, True Beauty, All of Us Are Dead and many others.

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If you are a Kpop fan you have probably already watched a live stream from your favourite idols on V Live!

V Live is a live video streaming service launched by Naver in 2015, created specifically so that celebrities could broadcast live videos for their fans, and share chat sessions, performances, shows etc.

Not only can Korean fans watch their favourite idols, but international fans as well, as the app didn’t have regional restrictions like some others.

In 2021 Naver Corporation announced that will transfer ownership of V Live to Hybe Corporations Weverse Company.

The transfer started in March 2022, and the app might experience some changes in the future.

Naver Papago

This feature will be a very useful one if you are learning Korean.

Papago is a translation service launched by Naver in 2017, first as a smartphone app and then available on desktop as well.

It is now available offline also.

Contrary to Google Translate, Papago doesn’t support as many languages, but uses a “neural machine translation” to constantly improve its translations, which is not used by a lot of translators.

Languages supported by Papago are: English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese (Simplified & Traditional), Japanese, Korean, Russian, Thai, Vietnamese, Hindi and Indonesian.

Papago is said to offer better and more accurate translations compared to Google Translate when it comes to Korean.

Be sure to give Papago a try!
Learn Korean Online

What is Naver? | Essential Vocabulary

Here are some essential vocabulary to help you navigate Naver, starting with its main services that should interest you:

Junior Naver쥬니어 네이버
Knowledge iN네이버 지식인
Naver Blog네이버 블로그
Naver Cafe네이버 카페
Naver Webtoon네이버 웹툰
Naver Papago네이버 파파고
Naver Pay네이버페이
Naver Encyclopedia네이버 사전
Naver Mail네이버 메일

And now some useful vocabulary that’ll help you using any app or website in the future:

To register등록하다
To enter들어가다
Search friends친구 검색
Add new friends친구 추가
Follow people팔로우
Answer or Reply답장하다
To select선택하다
Username사용자 이름
Sign in로그인
Personal thoughts개인적인 생각
Avatar/Profile Picture아바타/프로필 사진
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What is Naver? | Useful Resources

Navigating on Naver can take some time to get used to, and there are a few things you might need to do in order to benefit from all of its features.

Here are a few useful resources that can help you do just that, with detailed step by step instructions:

And there you have it!

That was our quick fire introduction to Naver and some of its important features.

This should give you a good base on how to get started if you’d like to spend more time trying to understand how to navigate Naver.

If you are learning Korean be sure to check the following blog articles that focus more on the learning aspect of the language:

  • LINK | The Korean Alphabet
  • LINK | The Korean Pronunciation
  • LINK | Hello in Korean
  • LINK | Basic Korean Grammar
  • LINK | Texting in Korean
  • LINK | Korean Popular Slangs

BONUS || to also check out our 7 Day Free Trial on Flexi Classes so you can start learning Korean when and how you want!


What is Naver?

Despite being called the “Google of South Korea” Naver is rather a portal (think Yahoo), giving access to a plethora of other services in addition to a search engine.

When was Naver founded?

Naver was founded in 1999 (Google in 1998) by a number of Samsung ex-employees and kept growing as South Korea’s #1 online platform.

What are some interesting features on Naver?

Some interesting features of Naver are:

unior Naver (쥬니어 네이버), 1999 – Children’s search service

Knowledge iN (네이버 지식인), 2002 – Q&A platform

Naver Blog (네이버 블로그), 2003 – Personal blogs

Naver Cafe (네이버 카페), 2003 – Communities

Naver Webtoon (네이버 웹툰), 2004 – Webcomic platform

V Live, 2015 – Streaming platform

Naver Papago (네이버 파파고), 2017 – Online Translator

What are the biggest search engines in South Korea?

The top 3 search engines in South Korea in 2021 were Naver, Google and Daum.

Does V Live still exist?

V Live still exist at the time of writing, however in 2021 Naver Corporation announced that they will transfer ownership of V Live to Hybe Corporations Weverse Company.

The transfer started in March 2022, and the app might experience some changes in the future.

Want More From LTL?

FANCY LEARNING KOREAN? Check out our online Korean courses here.

We offer a 7-day free trial to all online students where you can study Korean 24/7.

Want to study Korean in Korea instead? Our Korean courses in Seoul can either be taken in small groups of no more than 5 students or individually for a more tailored experience.

We even offer incredible homestay experiences in Seoul too.

To top it all off, it certainly doesn’t end with Korean. Check out the other languages we teach 👇🏻

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