This Is LINE, The Super Popular Messaging App That's Worth $US11 Billion

LINE is a messaging app that lets users make free voice calls and send free text messages from anywhere in the world on desktops or smartphones.

Like WeChat and WhatsApp, LINE is especially popular overseas, where many carriers don’t offer unlimited texting.

The app has one interesting source of revenue: stickers. LINE has over 5,000 stickers and emoticons in its own app store for customers to send to friends. These icons are so popular LINE was able to use them to raise over $US500,000 for hurricane relief in the Philippines this year.

Line, which is based in Tokyo, is valued at about $US11 billion and could go public next year, according to the Wall Street Journal. It launched a little over two years ago and now has 300 million users. LINE is available for iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Windows, and Nokia.

The app will ask you to create a profile. Click the white New Users button if this is your first time.

Type in an email address and password.

Once that part of the process is completed, you'll get an email asking you to verify the account.

Now, the next phase requires you to add your phone number in order to start messaging.

Once you enter your number, LINE will require you to verify it through a text message.

Here's the final part of the registration process. You'll be asked to upload an image for your profile and set up a name for the account.

Your profile is an important part of being able to chat with people on LINE. You can customise everything.

This is what the full layout of a profile. You'll be able to interact with people on their timeline, sort of like you would do on Facebook.

LINE's timelines work the same way as Facebook. You can customise what type of notifications you get as well alter privacy settings.

Once you arrive on a timeline, create a post.

Control who can read your profile.

If someone becomes too annoying, block them so their statuses never appear.

Users can decide if they want their profile to be public or restricted all with a simple swipe.

Finally, the app will ask you to accept the terms of service.

In order to start chatting with friends, LINE will ask you if it can automatically add contacts from Facebook and your phone.

Once the app finishes that, here's what the main page will look like. Tap each icon on the bottom to use a different feature.

Let's start chatting. Tap the LINE USA contact to have this screen appear. You'll be able to view their timeline. (This is just a sample profile run by the company.)

This is the main chat screen. Swipe up from the bottom to use the keyboard.

This is what it looks like when people send you messages.

These are the popular emoticons you can send to make things more festive.

Go to Add Friends to start getting more contacts. There are so many options to choose from.

Click on contacts on the far left. This option helps you find friends by text message or email.

Use Search By ID on the far right to find people's profiles by their LINE user names.

The Shake feature involves shaking your phone to see if anyone in your area has the app.

It'll search around you.

We had no luck, but it depends on your location. Remember, LINE is much more popular in Asia, not the U.S. where we tested it.

The QR Code Reader makes you scan a code in order to start a group chat.

In case you want to create a group chat, just search your contacts and send the QR code.

You'll be able to make your own.

All you have to do is share the code with your friends in order to start a group chat.

In settings, users can access the popular sticker shop, play games, and do so much more.

Here are a selection of games. The games are very simple time wasters.

This particular adventure, LINE PLAY, lets you create an avatar and interact with friends in a virtual world. Its similar to The Sims.

Here's the Sticker Shop. This is where you can purchase the popular icons. The store updates with new content every few weeks. The Sticker Shop is where LINE generates most of its revenue from.

Some of the stickers have themes like the popular Japanese cartoon Dragonball Z.

There are also Disney stickers.

The Notices section is where you can keep track of any app updates or new additions to the sticker shop.

After you finish using LINE, check out one of its biggest competitors...

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