Line now competes head-on with apps like Skype, Facebook Messenger(on iOS) and WeChat amongst others. The battle to grab more market share has just begun with Facebook entering the game just recently. It'll be interesting to see Facebook's free voice calls feature on other platforms in the near future. In the meanwhile, Line is making its presence felt by hitting the top slot amongst messaging apps across the globe.
The app also supports regular non-voice messaging as well. Users can also forward emojis and stickers to other Line app users. There are a number of interesting emojis available as a standard with the app - some free while others are paid. As per the company, users have spent a collective of $3.75 million in paid content sales in the month of July 2012 alone. The company has refused to indulge in sharing annual sales and a breakdown of content and functionality purchased by users. Seems like the company has carved out an interesting model of revenue generation.
Line is now taking the app to other countries. The app will launch in US soon, with celebrities like Snoop Dogg endorsing the app to attract new users. Naver's US operations would be handled by the new hire, Han who used to work for Paramount Pictures earlier. Naver plans to spend a lot of money in marketing the app across various channels and partnerships in the US.
Free voice calling apps are beginning to find a lot of fans amongst smartphone users globally. Apps like Skype have been in the business for sometime now but they lack some essential features and users complain about lack of voice quality. New services with less congestion are able to offer much better services, at least initially.
On whether Line will be able to turn heads in US, it is still too early to comment on the app's success. US users are devoted Facebook fans and the Messenger app is one of the most used apps in North America. It'll take a powerful marketing campaign to compete with Facebook's existing strong user base across the continent for Line to grab a piece of the market. Cross-platform availability is one advantage the Line app has over others. Another would be unique packaged content and services that set it apart from other popular apps.
Source References: JUNICHIRO NAGASAKI