Social messaging apps in the country, apart from WhatsApp and Hike, are witnessing much attention and traction. The popular Japanese mobile messaging app Line, which had entered the Indian market in the previous quarter, is back in the news for the same. The app backed by Line Corp, a unit of South Korea’s biggest Internet search provider NHN Corp, has announced that it has 10 million Indian users and wishes to double it by the year end.
Line, which had started its Indian operations in July this year, also announced that it has roped in Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif to endorse the brand. Commenting on the positive growth in the country, Line Corporation CEO Akira Morikawa said that “We haven’t experienced such rapid growth in any other country to date like we have in India and we will continue to focus here.” He also added that the focus for Line in India is to spike up the user base.
With 230 million users globally of which 20 percent are based in Japan, Line plans to grow by introducing new services like e-commerce and music through its platform. Besides the messaging service present in 55 countries with its other big markets being Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia and Spain, is in talks with the mobile operators in the country to form partnerships.
The app has also tied-up with Sony India to be pre-installed on mobile devices like Sony Xperia Z1 and Xperia C smartphones, while Sony Music Entertainment will open official accounts on Line. This feature would save users from downloading it from the app stores.
The marketing spend from the company has been big too. On its launch in India, the app had two TVC’s targeting the youth of the country. One of the TVC promoted the free voice chat feature of the app and the other TVC focused on Stickers or rich emoticons communication.
Taking the spends further, the company is all set to launch a new TV commercial featuring its brand ambassador this week like it had done earlier in Spain and is also trying to do the same in US. A similar move was also adopted initially by WeChat India which had featured young Bollywood actors Parineeti Chopra and Varun Dhawan in its TVCs.
The growth of Line has been positive – from 5 million in just three weeks to 10 million in its first quarter. However, it faces the uphill task of competing with WhatsApp that has an early mover advantage in the country with 20 million users from the country and “No” marketing spends.
Image courtesy: Facebook