The mayhem after the 2011 disaster gave birth to very a lucrative app called the Line App. So popular was this smartphone application that it smoothly overrode Facebook’s reach and appealed to Japan’s cute and free communication sensibilities. If numbers are to be believed then Line got 50 million users faster than Facebook! In a bid to cross the 100 million-user mark by December, they are aggressively wooing the Chinese and US markets.
South Korean parent company NHN, which runs Naver in Japan, created the Line App after the massive earthquake, tsunami and nuclear crisis that struck northeast Japan, when communication lines were disrupted and got unreliable. The NHN Japan employees were forced to resort to communication via the Internet and thus the Line app was developed.
Line allows users to text and call from their smartphones using the existing data plan, making them a very cost-effective option. It took Facebook three years to cross the 50 million users mark in Japan, and Line has crossed this landmark number in little over a year’s time. Line offers its own games, a camera app, and a social platform that is very similar to Facebook. It is also very popular for its “stamps” and elaborate emoticons.[Via Chicago Tribune]