Barely three weeks after its official launch in India, Japanese messaging app Line has announced that it has gained 5 million users. Apparently, big bucks spent on advertising is paying off. The company, which has been aggressively promoting its application in India has announced on its blog that it has crossed over 200 million downloads globally.
Line’s chief strategy and marketing officer Jun Masuda told the Wall Street Journal that though the app was officially launched in India on July 1st, it now has over 5 million Indian users.
Its chief competitors WeChat, which dominates the Chinese market, has over 300 million users while WhatsApp has over 250 active monthly million users. Line had announced in January this year that it had crossed 100 million users and the next 100 million came in just 6 months.
The 200 million refers to downloads and not necessarily of active users and is across platforms including the iOS, Android, Windows & BlackBerry. Majority of its users are in its home market Japan.
Indian messaging app hike had announced that it has over 5 million users globally a couple of months back. It took hike about four months to reach 5 million users. While Line & WeChat have been actively marketing on television, hike hasn’t done that yet. WeChat has roped in Argentina football star Lionel Messi for its TV campaign in India, a fast growing smartphone market. Last month India overtook Japan to become the 3rd largest smartphone market in the world.
For the January- March quarter, Line had a sales of $58 mn, the WSJ said. Line has different streams of revenue including selling virtual stickers and game items. Another source of revenue is that they tie up with corporations and celebrities for official paid accounts, so that they can reach their fans, users and consumers. Sony India is the first Indian company to sign up for this official account.
With over a dozen messaging apps all trying to grab a piece of the pie, each one is trying to be different. So while some launch offline and voice messaging, others are trying in app purchases like Stickers and games.
BlackBerry which was once known for its secure BlackBerry Messaging service plans to bring the service to Android and iOS in the next couple of months.