LINE is the world’s popular mobile messenger app that provides free messages, voice calls and group chats locally. At present, Line is entirely ad free unless you choose to follow brands (on their official sponsored accounts), which will result in you receiving promotions and other marketing material from them.
With Salesforce.com, LINE is making efforts to imitate the success of Facebook’s ad business, which also depends on the usage of social user data for more targeted promotions. Promotions can then be customized, for example by targeting only males in their twenties living in the Tokyo area with a coupon given out out at a specific point in time. In the Q4 earnings report for 2013, LINE Corp. revealed that official accounts and ads contributed to less than 20% of overall revenue.
With today’s technology, targeted advertising is becoming more pervasive. Advertisers want to reach as many consumers as efficiently as possible.Targeted advertising is a type of advertising whereby advertisements are placed so as to reach consumers based on various traits such as demographics, psychographics, behavioral variables (such as product purchase history), and firmographics.
The new ad service is exclusively aimed at companies that are operating official accounts on the platform. There are more than 100 of these companies in Japan alone, with each having an average of 3.6 million followers. LINE is charging 2.5 million yen (US$24,400) per month for official accounts.
It was founded in 23 June 2011 and headquartered in Japan on LINE has already achieved over 180 million registered users across 230 countries. LINE has already become popular messenger app in Asia with Japan having more than 45 million users, Taiwan and Thailand holding more than 15 million users respectively and 10 million users in Indonesia. LINE‘s popularity is going beyond Asia with Spain now claiming more than 10 million users and South American countries such as Mexico and Argentine also witnessing significant registrations.
Line appears promising and can emerge as the most popular instant messaging app if it can improve its interface further and add additional features that are both innovative and useful.