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LINE mobile messaging app plans to make it big in the Philippines

You may think of LINE as just another one of those mobile messaging apps like Viber, Whatsapp, Kik, WeChat, etc. It may look like it but it’s the most fun way to message your friends and also has quite a number of apps associated with it.

LINE is really an entire mobile ecosystem. Aside from their messaging app, they also have a fun camera app, a handful of games, and a wide array of apps including an anti-virus. LINE calls it, a genuine Smartphone Life Platform.

LINE is big. Its mother company, NHN Corporation, replaces Google in South Korea. LINE messaging app started out in June 2011 but now has 150 million users in 231 countries. It also holds the No. 1 spot in the “˜free apps’ category of app stores in 43 countries.

Jin-woo Lee

Jin-woo Lee, General Manager of LINE, flew from Korea to talk about their plans on how to push their service to cater to Filipinos.

So what makes LINE so successful? It’s because of those damn stickers featuring their quirkily drawn main characters ““ Brown the bear, Cony the rabbit, Moon, and James.

LINE characters

Because emoticons are so old-school and emoji’s are just too plain, it’s better to show your friend the degree of your happiness or disappointment with the use of LINE’s cute stickers. Because it’s more fun to send a sticker of Brown sticking a pin into a voodoo doll rather than an angry emoticon. With LINE, sometimes you would rather send stickers than a message because it’s just that fun.

LINE stickers

LINE’s main revenue stream is through the purchase of sticker sets although there are quite a lot of free ones to start you out. The sticker shop offers more than 4,000 stickers to date which includes current pop culture icons such as PSY and Iron Man, and a lot of themed sets that should suit your mood. Imagine if they create a sticker set of Vice Ganda.

LINE is also used as a global marketing platform for brands and celebrities. Something like Twitter and Facebook pages but with what they call Official Accounts. Users can follow the official LINE accounts of corporate brands and celebrities where they can view updates and even interact with with them in real-time during “˜On Air Mode’.

Current line up of LINE Official Accounts include big names of Korea such as Wonder Girls, Super Junior, 2PM, and even US hip-hop greats like T-Pain and Snoop Dogg. They are planning to tap local celebrities and brands to expand their footprint in the country.

LINE Camera

I also like LINE Camera which lets you add frames, stickers and doodads on your photos before you can post them on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

Finally, LINE is also the home to a wide variety of games, such as LINE Play, LINE Jelly, LINE Pop, and LINE Bubble which I think is how some first became accustomed to the brand.

LINE can be enjoyed across multiple platforms (iOS, Android, BlackBerry, Nokia Asha, and Windows Phone) over 3G, 4G, and WiFi, and you can have the same user on more than one device at a time. It is also available for your PC!

LINE Merchandise

They also have a set of LINE merchandise featuring their lovable characters. These are huge in Japan and South Korea, and depending on how Filipinos warm up to Brown and company, they might also bring them here.

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  • paolo

    I used to think those stickers are silly but all my friends have Line so I was forced to use it. Line is what SMS is sa Pinas, but that’s because most people here (Taiwan) have mobile internet plans.

    • SMS is SMS. ang malakas dio sa pinas i think is Viber and Whatsapp. oh and imessage.

      • robinhood

        correct, so do you guys think maghihit ang LINE dito, kasi may viber na unless mas maganda talaga… ^^

        • depends.. ok yung line para sa mag magsyota pati mga teens. hehehe lalo na pag yung girl mahilig sa mga cute na stickers.

  • Mac

    It’s safe to assume that internet-dependent apps such as these will find it difficult to penetrate the Philippine-market this time around but who can really tell.

    • robinhood

      yeah, even if we’re already living in a smartphone world, we’re still not like americans or other cultures who uses data in our everyday lives, well atleast… some of us. 🙂

  • jared

    They better make cheap unli net (most of us will stay on 3g which is gonna get outdated soon anyways) deals with all telcos otherwise this is gonna be for the elite minority haha. Then again, weird unexplainable things tend to become popular here so who knows; it might work.

    • kung nagawan ng unli-facebook (within facebook domain lang) for P200 a month, pwede rin gumawa ng unli-LINE for around that same amount.

      • jared

        The guys from LINE should be reading your post 🙂
        And I’m hoping its possible to buy stuff from them with methods other than credit and gift cards (cellphone load? Sana pwede para less hassle 🙂 )

        • yeah that’s what i told them too. stickers can be purchased in-app via credit card on Google Play and App Store. you can also purchase them with LINE coins. what they can do is make these LINE coins accessible to more people in the form of G-cash or Smart money payment. hope they can make that happen.

          • jared

            They better, before facebook’s implementation beat them to it. That said I’m having a blast with fb’s version (chatting with a lass who likes cute stuff right now lol).

  • Deicidium

    this will be a hit or will become a hit in the philippine market if and only if..

    the TELCO companies are not corrupt and greedy.

    look at our internet rates compared to other asian countries and see the difference.

    • AGREE! Kurakot at Ganid na Telco’s, samahan mo pa ng

      Kurakot at Inutil na NTC = NGA-NGA!! ;D

  • Ronie Padao

    SAna po talaga meron na silang LINE merchandise dito sa pinas. Kailangan ko lang talaga.

  • M.A.

    Hi, do you know how to get in touch with the marketing head for line philippines? Thank you.

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