The Asian messaging app eco-system is getting increasingly crowded. Everyone out there is trying to grab a bigger pie by introducing new features, tying up with businesses and focusing on international expansion. The Japanese free messaging app – LINE which has more than 160 million users has planned to make its presence stronger in Taiwan. According to The Next Web, the service which is one of the popular messaging apps in the country and present in 12 languages across all mobile platforms has confirmed of doubling its efforts in Taiwan by opening a new office and kicking off a fresh recruitment drive in the region.
The expansion that comes after the app passed 16 million users in Taiwan last month comes as no surprise. LINE has also decided to hire 30 additional employees for the new office which would join the existing staff of 400. Speaking at the promotional event in Taipei, Cindy Park, Manager of LINE Business Office was quoted by Focus Taiwan saying,
“We have come here to tell Taiwanese users…that we will do our best to meet all users’ needs.”
LINE has been focusing on its international expansion – like all other Asian messaging apps – into countries like China, Europe, Latin America and Africa. Along with the international growth, the company plans to expand its content in shopping, music and more games. Recently we also witnessed how LINE was trying to spread its wings in the Chinese market after working on a mechanism to restrict use of certain phrases on its dedicated China service – Lianwon.
Nevertheless, apart from expansion LINE has been positive on the revenue part. The free messaging app made by Line Corporation for the first time revealed that the app has made 5.82 billion yen i.e. $58 million from the first quarter of 2013. Breaking the revenue down, Line specified that around half of its revenue has come from in-app payments and from the elaborate range of social games people play together on Line. Another 30% of its revenue that is approximately $17M is from paid stickers – a form of rich emoticons.
But LINE is already facing the heat from its competitors like WeChat and KakaoTalk. After signing up with Tapjoy last month as its first international ad partner for its Kakao game services, the Seoul based company has partnered with Friendster, who has agreed to promote its chat and social messaging apps KakaoTalk and KakaoStory in Malaysia. WeChat at the other end is also testing international waters and right now is focusing strongly on India.
I am sure we are going to witness more such announcements from the messaging apps in the coming days.