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Popular Japanese chat app, Line takes aim at the U.S.

Posted: , by Michael H.

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Popular Japanese chat app, Line takes aim at the U.S.
There is no shortage of chat and messaging apps to be had on any mobile platform. There is a lot of competition in the space, and there are a few apps that stand out among the rest - WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, Skype, and, if you live in Japan, Line. Line is big in Japan, and it believes its popularity can translate in the U.S..

Line doesn't exactly have one specific feature that stands out. The real power of Line is in possibly being the best amalgamation of your favorite communications app, all in one. This means you get the standard free chatting, but you also get:

  1. Free calls and video chats (like Skype, Viber, Facebook Messenger, etc)
  2. Stickers (like FB Messenger, Path, etc)
  3. A private timeline for photos and video (like Instagram Direct)
  4. Self-destructing messages (like Snapchat)

And, maybe best of all, Line is fully cross-platform (and yes, that includes Windows Phone and BlackBerry). But, the real aim of Line isn't just to offer you a great messaging service (frankly, we found the app UI to be confusing and unintuitive), but also to drag you into the whole ecosystem of Line apps and games. The Line messaging app has options for themes and the aforementioned stickers, but you either have to pay real money for those, or gain credits by downloading other Line apps all of which are incredibly cutesy (annoyingly so for most, unless you really love Japanese culture). And, there is a huge array of games in the Line library, including puzzlers, racers, monster hunters, soccer management, and much more. 

The thing is that Line has created an incredible brand with merchandising and corporate tie-ins. There are games and sticker sets in partnership with Disney, soccer teams like Real Madrid, and Paul McCartney. There is a lot going on here, and Line can be quite a fun app when you get into it. Of course, that is the real barrier. If your friends don't use it, neither will you. Line is huge around the world, but as you can see in the introduction video it put out last year, it is working with a very Japanese sensibility that doesn't always translate to the U.S. Line has enough going for it that it could mount in impressive marketing campaign, and it truly believes it can be the next Nintendo; so, keep your eyes peeled, because Line is coming.


Download: Line (Android, iOS, Windows Phone, BlackBerry)
source: The Verge

16 Comments
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posted on 08 Aug 2014, 15:50

1. Jinto (Posts: 402; Member since: 15 Jan 2014)


Good job, but Skype ftw

posted on 08 Aug 2014, 15:52

2. ydl08 (Posts: 23; Member since: 01 Nov 2013)


Line is Korean from the land of Samsung....
Who wrote this article...........

posted on 08 Aug 2014, 16:44 2

7. MC1123 (Posts: 1247; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


It's own by a korean company but line app started its life in Japan after the earthquake tragedy

posted on 09 Aug 2014, 01:39

12. Tizen007 (Posts: 522; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


Line corporation is a subsidiary of the Naver Corporation, a Korean company, but they started off as a branch of Naver Japan when the earthquake struck.

However the NHN (Naver) corp has 100% financial authority over Naver Japan and therefore Line corporation so you can say Line is Korean.

It's like Ford and Ford Canada. Ford is headquartered in America but Ford Canada makes their own local decisions, and manufactures their own cars.

posted on 09 Aug 2014, 01:53 2

14. a_tumiwa (Posts: 293; Member since: 16 Mar 2012)


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Line_messenger

LINE Corporation is a Japanese company, a subsidiary of South Korean company Naver Corporation. The company's business is mainly associated with the development of mobile applications and internet services.

website: line.naver.jp/en

posted on 08 Aug 2014, 15:54

3. torr310 (Posts: 425; Member since: 27 Oct 2011)


I use Line too, but quality of video chat sucks. Many of my friends complain Line isn't easy to use compared to WeChat, although I did not feel the same way.

posted on 08 Aug 2014, 15:59

4. Vexify (banned) (Posts: 570; Member since: 16 Jun 2014)


Who the hell proof reads these articles? Line is KOREAN.

posted on 08 Aug 2014, 16:01

5. ArtSim98 (Posts: 3184; Member since: 21 Dec 2012)


It's Korean/Japanese

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LINE_Corporation

posted on 08 Aug 2014, 16:45 1

8. MC1123 (Posts: 1247; Member since: 12 Nov 2012)


it's own by naver which is korean but line itself is from naver Japan... Koreans response is kakao talk

posted on 09 Aug 2014, 01:39

13. Tizen007 (Posts: 522; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


Line corporation is a subsidiary of the Naver Corporation, a Korean company, but they started off as a branch of Naver Japan when the earthquake struck.

However the NHN (Naver) corp has 100% financial authority over Naver Japan and therefore Line corporation so you can say Line is Korean.

It's like Ford and Ford Canada. Ford is headquartered in America but Ford Canada makes their own local decisions, and manufactures their own cars.

posted on 08 Aug 2014, 16:23

6. frommars (Posts: 11; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


'Line' is Korean Company.....

posted on 08 Aug 2014, 16:50

9. Blazers (Posts: 240; Member since: 05 Dec 2011)


LINE was just banned in China, due to the new "hidden chat" feature (they say terrorism lol). WeChat was just updated with the same feature. I wonder if they'll ban this one too.

posted on 08 Aug 2014, 17:23

10. JustinTime (Posts: 1; Member since: 08 Aug 2014)


LINE is from Naver, which is a Korean company. Phonearena please fix it.

posted on 09 Aug 2014, 01:37 1

11. Tizen007 (Posts: 522; Member since: 07 Jan 2014)


Line corporation is a subsidiary of the Naver Corporation, a Korean company, but they started off as a branch of Naver Japan when the earthquake struck.

However the NHN (Naver) corp has 100% financial authority over Naver Japan and therefore Line corporation so you can say Line is Korean.

It's like Ford and Ford Canada. Ford is headquartered in America but Ford Canada makes their own local decisions, and manufactures their own cars.

posted on 10 Aug 2014, 18:50

15. FaisalWibowo11 (Posts: 141; Member since: 12 Aug 2013)


LINE is the most popular chat app in indonesia too

posted on 11 Aug 2014, 19:33

16. javy108 (Posts: 164; Member since: 27 Jul 2014)


I prefer to use Whatsappo.

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