In a short article on its site, Bloomberg posted the announcement alongside screenshots of its content on the messaging platform. It joins The Economist, which began publishing on the platform in early 2016, along with The Wall Street Journal, Time, and the BBC.
As Digiday noted, the app provides a neat way for a publication to extend its overseas reach quickly and cheaply – it also follows one of the key demands on modern publishers: namely that they be wherever their users want them.
In choosing Line, Bloomberg has alighted on an app with tragic origins - born in the aftermath of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake as a way for employees of its parent company to communicate following extensive damage to Japan’s telecoms infrastructure.
Naver, a Korean internet company, owns Line Corporation though Line is based in Japan. Line Messenger is part of a suite of apps and products including an online cartoon, a web portal, a music streaming service, and an online games division.
In addition, a promotional effort from last year saw the company take its popular messenger stickers, and aim for physical retail to further its brand overseas.
Its real power, however, lies in its Asian performance across Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. Now a publicly listed company, Line reported a slight dip in its overall user-base in Q2 2017, but has seen growth in its home market of Japan for nine consecutive quarters.
Disappointing user growth pales in comparison to money, meanwhile. Year on year, the app’s revenue increased by 38.7%. More impressively, profits shot up 187.6% in the same period, driven by ad sales.
In part, the move toward messaging apps as a focal point for the mobile internet has a lot to do with China’s tech leaders, and notably Tencent Holdings and its WeChat and QQ Messengers. Through these apps, up to 70% of consumers have reportedly spent money on these platforms.
This has set the blueprint for other Asian app conglomerates, which are able to use data from across their ecosystem to help brands design campaigns. Bloomberg’s move suggests that it has noticed this shift and intends to keep up.
Sourced from Bloomberg, Wikipedia, Digiday, TechCrunch, WARC