LINE: The other East Asian ‘super app’ | WARC | The Feed
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LINE: The other East Asian ‘super app’
LINE is a Japan-based messaging app that also provides payments, music streaming, news, shopping, and gaming for its 178 million users – but it’s the use of stickers that have kept it sticky.
Why it matters
According to a profile on Rest of World, over 70% of the population of Japan uses the app, something very few can say. And while the services have come and gone, it has kept its core ‘stickers’ and grown this into a business in its own right, with brands now selling their own sticker ‘packs’ that become part of users’ collections of emojis.
This feature is the unlikely ‘killer’ aspect of the experience. They are like personalised, cartoon emojis – both a language and an emotional signal.
What you need to know
- LINE is primarily ad funded and generated $2.36 billion of revenue in 2021, according to Business of Apps.
- Backed by the VC firm SoftBank, among others, it’s unsurprising that not a lot of it is profit: in 2021 it made $110m in net revenue, and growth remains a key aim.
- Another small but important area of its business is the sticker marketplace, which brings in around $200m annually. Some creators have made more than $10m from selling on the platform. For others, it has helped launch or supplement careers as Manga artists.
- The firm offers a variety of ad formats, from branded stickers through to targeted promotions and video advertising.
Sourced from Rest of World, WARC, Business of Apps.
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