Mobile messaging companies want the youth to hook on to their free apps. After Hike, WhatsApp, and WeChat, popular Japanese free messaging app – LINE is targeting India from today. Thanks to Aunpam Saxena’s tweet, I was able to confirm from the official India Facebook page of LINE that two TVCs have been launched to mark the India entry.
The Indian Facebook page of LINE that has more than 1500 fans, posted an update that shared both the links of the TVC targeting the Indian youth. One of the TVC is promoting the free voice chat feature of the app and the other TVC is focussing on Stickers or rich emoticons communication. The TVC that is promoting the Stickers has got 693 views already and is embedded below:
LINE has a stiff competition from other players
India is still to get caught by the mobile messaging apps like the South East Asian countries have been. But this has not stopped companies to experiment. Earlier we saw how Hike and WeChat India has been pushing their apps with localised features and spending on innovative marketing too.
Indian app Hike: The free Indian messaging app from Bharti SoftBank, Hike, which has more than five million users has recently announced that it has added some exciting features such as a set of new Stickers. The app has introduced a set of new expressive and fun stickers which include a pack full of Expressions, a predicted Bollywood pack, and more.
Besides this Hike, second most popular app after WhatsApp in India tied up with Nokia to preload the app on its selected devices. Along with this Hike is also working on its marketing bit and trying to reach out to the youth. Recently, Hike was providing free auto rides to the Delhi university students during the peak hours of their college form submission.
Chinese app WeChat: The other competitor WeChat has been investing a lot in India in recent months. The mobile messaging service that has more than 300M users out of which 50M are global users, had integrated with recent Bollywood movies and endorsed latest Bollywood stars Parineeti Chopra and Varun Dhawan.
Partnership with Cafe Coffee Day, Big Bazaar, Goibibo, Yahoo Cricket, Tradus and Santa Banta have been made but a monetization model, has to be still put in place, commented Dennis Hau, GM, international business group at Tencent, while speaking to TOI. However the app seems to be having some bad news after the US Prism story broke out. The Indian government is investigating whether to ban the Chinese app from Tencent due to security concerns.
LINE’s road ahead in India
Nevertheless, LINE which has more than 150M registered users has been working on its global expansion. After doubling its efforts in Taiwan by opening a new office and kicking off a fresh recruitment drive in the region, India is the latest horizon. It is also worth noting that WeChat had launched a TVC which focused on voice chat but LINE has also focused on its Stickers. Clear indication that the app which made $17M from Stickers from Q1, 2013 itself is targeting India on similar grounds too.
Stickers becoming a dominant source of revenue for messaging apps, is no secret. But it would be exciting to see how LINE targets the Indian market going further and would it be providing stiff completion to other players.