Having surpassed the 100 million user milestone, NHN Japan’s popular chat application Line has been a great example of the social potential that lies in mobile. Currently in Asia, it seems that each major region has its own local favorite. For example Korea has KakaoTalk, and China has WeChat/Weixin.
Japan’s choice is — overwhelmingly — Line.
With about 41.5 million out of its 100 million users in Japan, that means that nearly everyone who has a smartphone in Japan is on Line, since smartphone penetration is said to be about that same total. In comparison, KakaoTalk has about 9 million users in Japan right now, making it a distant second.
For those of you who have yet to try Line, check out our video demonstration above of its major features below, showing a few of the many reasons why Japan thinks it’s so great. As you can see, one of the major innovations of this app – in my view – is how it has leveraged chat as a platform to distribute its others mobile apps and services.
NHN Japan is expected to make a strong international push with Line in 2013, aiming for as many as 300 million to 400 million users.
For more information on the growth of Line, please check out our interactive Line Timeline which chronicles its growth from its launch back in 2011 up until the present day.