GREE gives up on its messaging app



Japan’s social gaming giant GREE launched a messaging app late last year. Dubbed Tellit (originally called GREE Messenger), the app was a quiet entry in a very crowded field of players like Line, Kakao Talk, and DeNA’s Comm. At the time, we understood that it was somewhat of an experimental effort — and now that experiment will be coming to a close, as GREE recently announced it will shutdown the messaging app on September 1st.

The app was developed by eBuddy, a messaging app-focused company based in Amsterdam, and subsequently rebranded as Tellit to intensify the global marketing efforts. TechInAsia points out that it previously topped the free iOS rankings in Malaysia, Italy and Germany, and our own digging shows that it also reached the top of the social networking category in Thailand, Chile, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia.

Here in Japan, the app didn’t get any TV commercial blitz that we saw competitors like Line, Comm, and KakaoTalk receive.

GREE is planning to shutdown its offices in UK, UAE, Brazil, and the Netherlands this month, which reduces its foreign business locations by a half. The company also shutdown its Beijing office back in May, and is planning to reduce its work force in its Korea office by 30%. The focus of its international operations are expected to shift to San Francisco, though it still has its studio and office in Korea and its GREE Ventures operation in Singapore.

Some of our readers may remember that there were reports that DeNA recently cut back operations on its Comm messaging app. For GREE and DeNA, it’s probably necessary for them to find new frontiers where they can find more success.