Messaging App LINE sails past the 200 million users mark
Chat and VoIP apps like WhatsApp, WeChat and Viber seem to have a new rival in LINE which now has over 200 million active users worldwide. This in itself is pretty commendable when you look how even the likes of Facebook and Skype haven’t been able to break the dominant monopoly till now.
LINE originated in 2011 when it was developed by the Japan unit of Korea-based NHN Corporation in the aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake. And while it has been steadily growing in the Asian markets, the current user figure serves as an indicator that LINE is slowly but surely coming to the boil on a worldwide level. The company says that the majority of the growth is coming from South-east Asian and South American countries.
Along with the standard chatting and free voice call features, the most unique feature of LINE is the wide range of emoticon sticker apps that makes it stand out from the rest. In fact, sticker packs which are sold at $1.99 per piece has made the app a very lucrative proposition. US CEO Jeanie Han threw light on the fact that around 30% of its Q1 2013 revenue i.e. $18m came from selling the sticker apps.
Another area where LINE is leading the charge against its rival apps is the games department. Its gaming platform, which has around 33 titles, already has around 150 million downloads. And it is this diversity of instant messaging, games, connected apps and VoIP services that has seen the stock of LINE rise to such levels.
With such burgeoning numbers in such a short space of time, LINE looks to have all the makings to become the new king of the IM hill. And at this growth rate, it is likely to happen sooner rather than later.