LINE has taken over the way people send messages on their phones in the last couple of years. Snapchat or WhatsApp don’t really have any footing here, and as of last summer the number of users has grown to over 50 million domestically. (I work with stuff related digital marketing and all that fun stuff, so this is my bread and butter.) From chatting to job searching, LINE has a wide variety of functions for both users and small businesses to large businesses.
Back in the day of feature phones, people hardly used SMS to communicate, and instead everyone used their phone’s email address to “text” friends. It was pretty tedious to chat in a group or message something quickly. However with phone number portability between carriers and the spread of smartphones, quick communication has completely changed. Back in the day when you made a new friend, you would normally ask what their mail address what, but now it is all about exchanging your LINE ids. The whole dynamic has changed in just 3-4 years.
I think the genius behind LINE was how well their characters work with branding the app. Their designs are easily recongizable while still being liked by a pretty wide range of people- it’s cute but not too cute. They were part of the first set of stamps that came with the app, so from day one they have been part of the whole chatting experience.
Anyway, there is a LINE character goods shop in Harajuku, and I finally made my way inside…
A+++ Will go back again.