Today at Japan’s Infinity Venture Summit (IVS), NHN from Korea, the maker of LINE the world-wide popular mobile messaging application announced that LINE has reached 40 millions users in the global market, with ~25m from Japan. The most interesting comment from Jun Masuda, the CSMO of NHN Japan is that, LINE is now clearly the No.1 mobile messaging application worldwide, except Wexin (aka WeChat) which the No.1 in China, developed by Tencent.
Akira Morikawa, the head of NHN Japan said, “LINE is now the leading mobile social networks. Its users range from housewives to students. LINE has become part of Japanese daily life, and now 84% of the registered users are active monthly, 44% of the users are using smart phone.
LINE is aimed to a platform to integrate various service, such as photo filters. In future, it’s said social games could be integrated into LINE too. NHN officials admitted that the business model for LINE is still to be explored, but it’s not the company’s major concern at this stage.
Jun Masuda said LINE is growing super fast in Japan, HongKong and Taiwan. “LINE will spend more effort in those markets which are not yet dominated by Facebook, and SouthEast Asia is the current hot target.”, said Jun.
We used to report that Tencent’s Weixin (WeChat) had the ambition to conquer the world as well. But it seems that LINE has already become a very tough competitor in global market.
Whatsapp has about 100 million users worldwide. Skype (with the voice functionality) has many more. iMessage from Apple is already free and almost every iPhone user already uses it — knowingly or not, and you can bet that’s bigger than 100 million too. Now Facebook’s messenger is also on all phones…. I could go on.
Basically, sorry LINE, you’re not no.1. Far from it. In Korea, Kakao is much more popular than LINE. So nice try at PR, but no cigar.
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