The Line app is great in Japan. In the ten years since its launch, Line has roughly become the leading social platform in the country 68% populations in the application. Apart from YouTube, no other social network could match the retention of Line in the Japanese market.
The line started as a mobile messaging app, but has since evolved into a kind of “super app”, with the mission to become “life infrastructure”For its customers.
The application portfolio includes everything from news and social feeds to banking and health services.
Until recently, it was a little too complex for companies overseas to market an app. But with its ownership accompanying global growth, that is changing. Official accounts have been simplified and more information is now available in English.
Want to reach the largest audience in Japan? Learn more about the Line app and find out if it’s right for your business.
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What is the Line app?
Line is a Japanese social networking application. It was launched in June 2011 in response to the earthquake and tsunami in Tōhoku that devastated Japan three months earlier. The app was created to provide people reliable line of communication during disasters, but soon became an everyday tool for messaging.
Line is now considered a “super application”. Much like the Chinese WeChat and South Korean CocoaTalk, the platform has gone from a chat app to a hub for entertainment, social and everyday activities. Imagine YouTube, Spotify, WhatsApp, Instagram, Reddit, Clubhouse and Uber combined … and then some.
As media studies professor Marc Steinberg said in a recent article: Line is “a Swiss-style app that does almost everything.”
How does the Line app work?
Like other social platforms, he Line can create profiles, connect with friends on private or public channels, and switch between a personalized timeline and recently added explore the card.
In addition to posting and watching videos, people can also create stories, much like on Instagram and other websites.
What is the Line application used for?
What sets Line apart from other social networks is the range of features and tools it offers.
In addition to mobile messaging, voice calls and video calls, Line integrates banking, shopping and more tools. The app also centralizes access to health services, travel agents, restaurants and shops, and bulletin boards.
Line is also an aggregator of news and media streaming services, providing users with access to daily articles, more than 70 million songs, manga, live videos, games and more.
So, to summarize things – here is an inexhaustible list of what Line can be used for:
- Voice and video calls
- Sharing and creating labels
- OpenChat forums and topics
- Payment or sending money via Line Pay
- Order food delivery with Line Man
- Receive predictions from Line fortune tellers
- Discovering and reading manga
- Consulting with healthcare professionals
- Send gifts to friends with Line Gift
- Investing in stocks or cryptocurrencies
- Streaming music, live concerts, sports and more
- Watch and chat with streamers on Line Live
Who owns the Line app?
Line is a consolidated subsidiary of South Korean internet giant Naver and SoftBank Corp. Each company has a 50% stake in Line.
In March 2021, Line merged with affiliate SoftBank Yahoo! Japan, which was renamed Z Holdings. For its part, Line was renamed A Holdings Corporation, although it is still branded and recognized as Line.
The consolidation of Line and Z Holdings creates a significant alliance between their parent companies. Softbank has pledged to invest 500 billion Japanese yen ($ 4.7 billion) and employ 5,000 artificial intelligence engineers to make the entity more competitive in the global market.
“Integration is expected to lead to a significant expansion of the user base, as LINE and Yahoo Japan have satisfied the so-called ’10 -20 ‘and ’40 -50 generations’,” Naver’s Annual Report 2020.
WITH 86 million users across the country, Line is perhaps the largest social app in Japan, but it is also popular elsewhere. Line is also the most popular social network in Thailand, where 21 million stories they are published every day, receiving 170 million daily views.
According to Naver Annual Report 2020, Line has 165 million active users per month (MAU) across Japan and Southeast Asia. Globally, that number is growing 182 million MAU. Like many other social platforms, Line is blocked in mainland China where WeChat government nothing challenged with 1.2 billion monthly active users.
Source: Line Business Guide 2021
What is noteworthy about Line’s demographics is how evenly things break down.
The gender distribution is divided exactly in the middle. Use by age group is also constantly present, only after 60 years and falls to 52%. In terms of occupation, most people who use Line (49.9%) work in an office.
How to Use Line for Business |
Wondering how to use the Line app for your business? Look no further.
Open an official account
There is more than 3 million Official accounts maintained by on Line companies in Japan. An official account allows your company to send up to 500 targeted messages per month and gives you access to user trends and analytics.
To create an official account:
1. Download LINE Official application account.
2. Touch Sign in with the LINE app or Sign in by email.
3. Touch Open a new account.
4. Fill out the form and tap Continue.
5. Touch Open an account.
Official accounts can be checked on request.
Business accounts start for free and then switch to pay-per-way (based on the number of messages sent) or subscription models.
As of March 2021, premium accounts are not available in the US, Singapore and the EU.
After you create a business account, be sure to promote it. People are very likely to do some work after following it.
Source: Line Business Guide
Take advantage of profile features
An official online account gives a business approach a number of features.
All official account profiles include:
- Profile image (640 x 640 pixels)
- Cover image (1080 x 878 pixels)
- Status (20 characters)
- Website link
Businesses can also include location settings so people can find stores near them and set up chat tools to their liking.
Extras can be added that include cards with digital loyalty programs, menus or product lists, delivery or scheduling options, and more.
Provide customer service and support
As a messaging app, Line has proven to be crucial customer support and support channel for many companies on the platform. Account managers have the ability to turn off chat, set up autoresponders, organize conversations with tags and continue to track customer history and preferences. Line official accounts can also be added to group conversations.
For less convenient access, a variety of customer support tools are available, including chatbots from Streamchat Enterprise. These bots can be used on Line and Facebook Messenger. They also connect directly to the Hootsuite dashboard, so you can manage all customer inquiries in one place.
Create promotional stickers
Stickers are a popular feature on the Line, and companies can get involved in the action by creating their own.
Strive to design stickers that are nice enough for people to share in their chats and “friends” with your account.
Source: Guide to expressing stickers
The line offers free stickers to buy. To increase their reach, companies can choose Sponsored stickers, which appear in the “new” and “free” label categories and may be available for 90-180 days.
Mission-sponsored stickers are another option that, as the name suggests, requires users to perform a task to access the label.
Direct stickers are distributed exclusively by companies and are not listed in the label store.
Offer coupons and promotions
Official accounts also have the ability to create coupons that can be made available to anyone, followers or followers and their friends.
Coupons appear in the promotion section of your profile and can be included in posts and timelines throughout the app.
Run the Survey Line
Line allows official accounts to create polls that can be shared with messages, posts, and other shows in the Line app.
You may want to conduct surveys for product feedback or simply find out more about your audience online. As an incentive to participate, Line offers the option of giving coupons with gratitude.
Try Line Advertising
Regular ads gives advertisers access to a number of formats, targeting tools, and ad location options in Line’s family of services.
Be strategic. With so many touchpoints available, brands can choose to reach a customized audience based on location, interest, and behavior, and place ads in highly relevant areas.
Sizzler, a Thai steak restaurant, used a combination of audience-like audience and location targeting to increase its presence in the delivery market. When someone showed interest by visiting Sizzler’s profile or website, they got targeted promotions and offers.
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