LINE, the Korean messaging app that first became popular in Japan, is also experiencing tremendous success outside of Asia.
Like WhatsApp, LINE lets users make free voice calls and send free text messages from anywhere in the world.
Jeanie Han, the woman who heads up LINE’s presence in the US and Europe, spoke to us about LINE’s phenomenal growth at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
Here are some of the stats that Han revealed:
- LINE adds 1.7 million new users every day.
- There are over 560 million registered users worldwide
- There are 25 million registered users in the US.
- LINE is now being used in 230 countries.
- Over 13 billion messages are sent every day.
That’s pretty impressive for something that started out as a tool to help people stay in touch following the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake in Japan. Today, LINE isn’t just one app. It’s actually 65 different apps, which is why Han calls it a “life platform.”
For example, companies, artists, and brands can pay to have an “official” account on LINE. Han says that engagement is high on the messages that brands send to customers: 55.8% of messages are read and 31.6% of coupons sent over the app are actually redeemed.
LINE isn’t just about brands, though. Celebrities use it to promote their music to fans. Sir Paul McCartney is one of the most prominent musicians on the app, and he had 5.9 million subscribers on LINE after just three days. That’s probably because McCartney is incredibly popular in Japan (LINE’s biggest market). Taylor Swift, Maroon 5 and Linkin park all have official LINE accounts, too.
Here’s what it looked like inside the LINE booth at Mobile World Congress:
Han says that people call LINE “the godfather of stickers.” It had animated pictures that you can send to your friends long before Facebook or Path, and there are over 45,000 sticker packs available to download. Some are free, but many stickers cost money. People are paying, too. LINE’s Q3 revenue in 2014 was $US177.5 million, up 104% on the previous year.
LINE isn’t stopping at stickers and messaging, though. It has a team of in-house game developers creating apps for the platform, and has even launched a mobile payment system (LINE Pay) and Uber competitor (LINE Taxi). Han says LINE Taxi could be coming to more countries in the future.
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