Line, Japan’s popular mobile messenger app, has recently launched a new service. It’s called Line Q, and it provides a platform where users can interact each other by asking and answering questions on a range of topics. Users can post questions that they immediately need an answer for, at anytime and from anywhere using their smartphone. Other users can answer by posting text, pictures, videos, location information, and stickers – all in a mobile chat-format screen.
There are some choices for those who post questions: they can choose a category related to their question, they can make their question open to all users, or they can restrict questions only to their friends, with both public and private options.
Another unique function is the I want to know too! button, enabling users to share others’ questions on their timelines. Using their Line network, the posted questions can be shown to friends or experts with particular knowledge or skill. Private questions, however, cannot be shared using the “I want to know too!” button.
Users can get points by answering the questions or being chosen as giving the “best answer”. When user points reach a certain level, they can then convert them to cash. Users can even win bonus points depending on the number of times they’ve give the best answer. There is a monthly ranking system for users in each category, and in order to motivate users to answer questions, several schemes are being implemented. For example, top-rated users can be reward with double points for the following month.
In the past, many companies have attempted to build a Q&A service for mobile. But most of them had difficulty acquiring users and encouraging engagement. Line expects to solve the both problems with Line Q.
In the future, we might also see corporate accounts participating in Line Q. If companies can conduct surveys or find enhanced user participation, it could even replace some existing market-research services.
Line Q is currently available both iOS and Google Play. It’s in Japanese only for the time being.