LINE, the Japanese instant messaging company, increased its downloads by 50% in just four months, positioning itself more as the top rival to the extensive WhatsApp rather than just another option. In January, LINE celebrated its 100-million-user mark, but the interesting thing is that this amazing growth growth of 50 million downloads is centralized in Spain and Latin America.
Ever since WhatsApp announced it would begin charging an annual fee for its service on all devices, many users began to migrate to other free apps, which has undoubtedly benefited and sparked LINE’s high point since it was born two years ago.
Asia began and continues to be the potential market for this Japanese company, but ever since LINE launched its version in Spanish for iOS and Android towards the end of last year, it has gained millions of users. The company interprets this drastic growth in Spanish-speaking countries as “winning” the battle in an important market, and shows that LINE has the potential to grow on a global scale.
WhatsApp dominates 90% of the market in Spain, but ever since the company announced the ending of its free services, LINE made a special effort to win over Spanish users by carrying out an advertising campaign that included TV ads, and which was successful in bringing in a large amount of new users. Additionally, the app has just been launched in Africa, which clearly has been a help in pushing it beyond the 150 million download mark.
Meanwhile, the leader in mobile messaging, WhatsApp, doesn’t focus on registered users, but rather active ones. It claims that it has more than 200 million active monthly users, which surpasses even Twitter’s numbers.
The great thing about LINE is that, in addition to offering a free instant messaging service, it can can really make a mark on the younger generation with the social networking service on its platform, and the independent game apps, stickers, Kawaii animated characters – which already have their own cartoon show in Japan – and LINE Camera, which reached 30 million downloads worldwide this month.