Japanese messaging app LINE is aiming to touch 50 million users mark in India by December this year as it witnesses strong month-on-month growth, driven by robust demand for free messaging services.
LINE, which started operations in India in July last year, currently has over 18 million registered users in India across Android, iOS and BlackBerry platform. "It is a moving target. We are witnessing very strong month on month growth. By December-end, we are looking at 50 million users in India," LINE Head of India Business Development Daman Soni told PTI.
Globally, LINE has over 470 million users. With operations in 230 countries and regions (as of May 2014), the company today announced that LINE and LINE family apps have topped one billion. The family includes apps for communication, digital content, game, tools and media like camera app LINE camera, the online avatar community LINE PLAY, and the gaming service LINE GAME.
LINE Camera has seen over 90 million downloads, while LINE POP and LINE Pokopang has been downloaded over 43 million and 34 million times, respectively. LINE started operations in 2011 and reported sales of 14.6 billion JPY in Q4 2014, up 19 per cent from 12.2 billion JPY in Q4 2013.
Besides partnering with corporates, the firm also derives revenues from stickers and in-app purchases. "We have seen a strong demand for stickers in India too, especially with the localised stickers. Recently, we launched the Humshakals stickers, which was an instant success. It's a great connect for the youth too. They are a great asset to us," Soni said.
In India, Line has partnership with firms like Groupon, Jabong, Sony and FoodPanda. India, which is the fastest growing market for smartphones, has seen a huge growth in userbase for messaging apps like WhatsApp, WeChat LINE and Hike.
The growth has also been driven by falling data charges, which has led to these apps becoming a popular medium of communication, especially among the youth.