It looks like SMS texts are dying out. Sure, it is still alive, just like the radio is still alive after the arrival of the television, but is used less or for other things. SMS as a “stay in touch” technique seems a bit outdated, especially with all extras that different messaging apps can offer. One of those apps, and quite a unique one at that, is Line.Me.
Where It All Started
Operated from South Korea, Line.Me has crossed the mark of 100.000 users around this New Year, which is an impressive number considering that app isn’t even 2 years old. While the biggest amount of users is from Asia, recent boost is coming from South America and it is starting to conquer the States and Europe as well. If you still haven’t heard of it, just wait a bit longer, it is growing organically, and that is usually an indicator that it will stay here for a long time.
We all know that things that are successful in one part of the world need not reach the same level of popularity in the other. However, the basic idea is to keep the app simple as possible. Instead of putting more and more things in, Jeanie Han, Line.Me’s USA CEO, says that she spends more time taking features out, than putting them in. However, she also stated that having free messaging and free calls isn’t simply enough anymore and it is a prerequisite that users are already expecting.
What’s the Catch?
So what makes Line.Me different from the other messaging apps? While the motto for design and features is to keep it simple, there are several features that are still rarely seen in messaging apps. Besides games, a standalone camera and a standalone group messaging service, Line also has its own version of a social network, called Timeline. While it is still innappies, so to speak, this hybrid of messaging app and social network is heading in the right direction. If you are celebrity fan you can already find official accounts of Psy, or less one hit wonder-y Snoop Lion/Dogg.
Lately, messaging apps got in hot waters because of privacy issues. Line.Me isn’t selling our data, it collect sparce amount of demographic data and it has no advertising. So how does it grow and makes any money? Besides already mentioned official accounts that are for celebrities, companies and enterprises, the big part of the main revenue comes from in-game apps and stickers. Apparently, users are willing to pay for extra content if the basic service is good, so according to Han, there is no problem in the revenue area.
In the world where everything is merging and hybrids aren’t something new, Line.Me is successfully venturing in messaging/social network integration. Although this is still largely uncharted territory, it is taking steps in the right direction. So, check out your store, download the app, and don’t say we didn’t warn you early enough!