LINE: A Mobile Platform for Everything

First week I had a brief introduction of my three messaging Apps, Whatsapp, LINE and WeChat. LINE is the App users can make free voice calls and send free messages. I have been paying attention on LINE’s developments because it provides unique and interesting approaches. Right now NHN Japan ‘s strategy for LINE is building a platform for games, music, books, news, and social networking. Apparently, LINE positioned itself as a mobile platform for everything. NHN Japan Corporation has grown its free LINE application into one of the world’s most talked-about apps. Is it going to be a mobile version of Facebook?

Compared with Facebook, LINE concentrates on the need of mobile users and enables them to connect with each other anytime and every time. The biggest difference from Facebook is the design of LINE all focusing on the mobile users in mind. NHN Japan says that LINE’s strategy is focused on growth rather than profit. I consider their business goal is like the beginning of Amazon, the priority is attracting users rely on their platform

Compared to other messaging apps strategies, one thing unique to LINE is their service surrounded by animate characters and other stickers. The stickers are known for its cute and oversized animated chat emoticons  Characters like Moon, Brown, Cony and James have swept the Japanese and Taiwanese market. Users can include the stickers in their chat messages, pictures and also social games. According to techcrunch.com, NHN hasn’t released recent numbers on the app’s financial performance, but in July, consumers spend $3.75 million per month in sticker sales.

Since the Line animated characters become the money tree, LINE even made online animation and real spin-off products keep attracting users. 

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Another example is “LINE POP”, an official mobile game made up by LINE animated characters. The simple game aims to get rid of blocks with abundant characters’ expressions. Users can even play with their LINE friends and receive the hearts needed to play and compete for higher rankings.

manga

LINE keeps extending the potential of mobile services such as “LINE manga”, which collaborates with more than 50 Japanese publishers as e-comic book reading services. Users can read almost 30,000 comic books throughLINE and download stickers from the comic book characters. Furthermore, they can recommend comic books to their LINE friends. I consider this service not only strengthens LINE’s social networking also bring a new wind to Japanese printed publishers.

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