DeNA may have cut back operations on its Comm messaging app [Report]



See the original story in Japanese.

Nikkei Business reported today that DeNA has cut back operations for its Comm messaging app, and is planning to cease further user acquisition efforts. The report says:

The Comm app was introduced by DeNA to compete against Line. We recently learned the company has cut back operations for this messaging app. At its peak, the team for the app had almost 70 engineers, but this seems to have decreased to just several team members earlier this month. The company intends to cease promotional activities for acquiring new users.

We also heard from a source that they might have cut back operations earlier this month. Some of our readers may have read Serkan Toto’s report that Comm integrated casino games into the messaging app. But it looks to have made no impact in terms of user acquisition. We have reached out to DeNA this morning for comment on the report, but have not yet received a reply. Update: The company says that the size of the Comm team is always changing, and will continue to do so. A representative notes that they “naturally needed to operate in a big group at launch” but has been “flexibly changing the team structure.” (RM)

Nikkei Business points to Kakao Talk and CyberAgent’s Decolink as competitors to Line in Japan. GREE has also launched a messaging app back in December of 2012, but it is still not promoted much and is only available in Australia and some other countries. It was rebranded as Tellit back in March.

When we look at messaging apps in the Asian region, WeChat (from Tencent) has been showing good numbers. They have acquired more than 50 million users outside China, in addition to its existing 300 million users in its home market of China.

In contrast with the success of Line and WeChat, some players in the Asia region may be in for tough times ahead.