Line, the cross-platform messaging app hailing from Japan, officially came to India in July. Since its entry three months ago, the free application has managed to get 10 million registered Indian users. The new figures were revealed at a press conference held today, with the company’s CEO Akira Morikawa and Marketing Officer Jun Masuda making the announcements. The new number is a considerable step up from the 5 million users we last heard about.
Line also revealed that it has roped in Bollywood actress Katrina Kaif as the official brand ambassador. In terms of the app itself, the company revealed a few new features that will be rolled out across all platforms. The first on the list was free video calling, similar to what we have seen before on Skype or iMessage. The feature is only available for Line users, though, and there was no mention of integration with other platforms yet. The feature, while free, will make use of your data plan or Wi-Fi connection to make “face-to-face” conversations possible.
Next on the list for Line users is the “Snap Movie” option. The nifty feature allows users to include a video live onto an active chat, without the need to download the same, as seen on WhatsApp. Users also have the option of adding background music to their video, especially useful for that quick birthday call. The sad part about this is that the real-time video feature can only send 10 seconds worth of content to the other user. The feature, which was already rolled out for iOS users last month, will be available across platforms now.
Line will be giving Indian users even more customised stickers to choose from
Keeping in line with the Indian audience, the app will also be adding more native-looking stickers to the current ones in the app. An interesting one that we saw was “want a samosa?” with the delicacy in question drawn pretty well. The stickers will also come with Bollywood versions for users who are so inclined. All the new stickers will be free for now. Check out our review of Line to see what else is there in the app.
The company also announced that the app will come pre-installed with the new Sony Xperia Z1 and Xperia C smartphones. This move seems a bit redundant, though, as the app is already free for download on almost all app stores. Continuing its association Sony India, Line has also integrated the official Sony Music Entertainment accounts to its Timeline, to “cater to fans of major genres of Music.” It is still unclear if this means that users will get downloadable content straight from their subscribed accounts, though. The app, as it has been doing for a while now, will also provide localised content from major Bollywood movies straight on the user’s Timeline.
All in all, it looks like Line is slowly but steadily trying to increase its reach in India. The presence of localised content and stickers should definitely help increase its popularity. The free video chat option as well as “Snap Movie” should also be welcome features. The company, having reached the 10 million user number this month, is planning to double the number by the end of the year, according to the company’s head honcho Morikawa.