January 20, 2013

LINE hits 100 million

The logo of the Line free-telephone service (Provided by NHN Japan Corp.)
Line, a free-telephone app for smartphones, has won 100 million users worldwide, establishing a dominant lead over rivals hoping to emulate its success.

The service, which started in June 2011, has attracted 100 million users in just 19 months or so, a faster pace than Facebook, the world’s largest social networking service, the company said.

A type of Internet protocol phone, Line enables users to talk free of charge except for standard data communication fees. People on both ends of the line need to download the free app on their smartphones.

Line boasts a subscriber base of 41.5 million, mainly young people, in Japan alone.

NHN Japan has yet to make money on a monthly basis due mainly to investments for expanding overseas. But monthly sales from pictograms and messages that Line users can send to one another reach several hundreds of millions of yen.

[via Asahi]