Line Corporation, the company behind Japan’s blockbuster messaging app Line, today announced its earnings report for the first quarter of 2015. Total revenue for January-March was JPY 28.1 billion (US$236 million), a 70 percent increase from the same quarter last year and a 9 percent uptick quarter-on-quarter. The Line app itself accounted for JPY 25.4 billion (US$214 million) of that figure, representing a 76 percent increase over the same quarter in 2014 and a 9 percent bump from last quarter.
Today, Japan’s Line messaging app announced via the company’s website that it will support the Apple Watch. Users of the Line smartphone app will be able to link the app with their Watch to view and send messages on their wrist. And – of course – you don’t have to reply with your voice, as the Line Watch app will also support messaging with stickers and emoji.
Singtel, Singapore’s largest telco, has launched a Whatsapp competitor called Wavee. The free-to-use app promises high-quality voice and video calls and the ability to send instant messages. It claims to be the first telco in Southeast Asia to launch something like this. The app is available worldwide on the Google Play and Apple App Store. It does not allow advertising. While using Whatsapp can rake up data costs, Singtel will waive all local data charges for people who use Wavee on Singtel’s postpaid and prepaid mobile plans. The offer lasts till July 9, 2015.
The service is available on iOS and Android, and aims to woo users partly through its in-app innovations such as group chat and a range of emojis, or small graphics that can be interspersed in text conversations. “People can send their emotions to other people or to friends with endearing stickers,” said Line Myanmar general manager Dae Yun Hwang. Line is far from the only application taking aim at the local instant messaging business.
A STAGGERING 92% of workers in Malaysia have used at least one tool enabling remote working in the previous month, according to a survey of over 44,000 senior business people across more than 100 countries by global workplace provider Regus. This figure is also significantly higher than the global average of 86%, Regus said in a statement.
Has your back ever felt so bad that you don’t even want to leave the house to get a massage? In China, there’s an app for that. Or at least there will be. Nanapanda, an O2O massage booking service whose app hasn’t actually launched yet, claims it will offer hourlong full-body massages and shorter head and neck massages you can enjoy at home or at the office.
Line and Instagram stand out as two of the hottest social apps in Thailand. Line is the dominant messenging platform in the nation, with over 33 million registered users. Messaging with Line has become so quotidien – one entrepreneur told me about how her mother operates several Line groups for her various circles of friends – that the app has emerged as arguably the most trusted channel of interaction outside a physical encounter.
SINGAPORE: Mobile messaging apps Line and Kakao Talk are busy trying to conquer overseas markets such as Southeast Asia and India. But they may do well to keep a close eye on their home turf of Japan and South Korea as China’s WeChat amasses more users. Among six messaging apps, WeChat saw the biggest upptick in usage in Japan and South Korea last month versus a year earlier, boosted by its gaming, e-commerce and multimedia capabilities, according to data on Android smartphones tracked by Mobidia.
Samsung Electronics has released a messaging app which runs on Apple’s iOS mobile platform, the company said Sunday. Samsung developed the intra-group messaging app, Square, after it shut down its ChatON service, everywhere apart from the United States, last month. It unveiled the iOS version for its employees using iPhones. “Our employees using iPhones will be able to use our new messaging app Square. We don’t force our workers to use Samsung devices and we respect our employees’ device selection,” a company official said.
The number of users Line, the Naver’s mobile messenger app, is expected to exceed 700 million this year, according to officials and analysts Sunday. Naver saw the number of users cross 600 million recently. “The number of users continues to grow and we see the number exceeding 10 million in 13 countries, including Turkey,” said Hwang In-joon, chief financial official (CFO) at Naver, during a recent conference call with investors.
WeChat, the mobile messaging juggernaut from China, unleashed the Windows PC version of its app (h/t QQ Tech). This comes nearly a year after the Mac client was released last February. Just like the Mac version, WeChat for Windows is fairly barebones. You won’t find the treasure trove of features and functions available on the mobile version, just basic messaging and file transfers.
A few weeks after the acquisition of US-based voice-calling company Zip Phone, India’s Hike today announced its free voice calling feature that works over 2G, 3G, or wifi. Hike’s voice calling is now in beta on the Android version of the app; it’ll arrive on iOS and Windows phones by the end of this quarter. With the slow mobile internet in India and a small percentage of mobile users accessing 3G and 4G, Hike aims to please the mass market with the app’s low bandwidth consumption.
DHAKA – Bangladeshi telecoms authorities Sunday shut down smartphone messaging and voice services Viber and Tango, which have become a popular communication medium for supporters of the anti-government protests now in their third week. The Bangladesh Telecommunications and Regulatory Commission closed down the apps “for the time being” on orders from law enforcement and security agencies, a commission spokesman told AFP.
BEIJING – China’s Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, the world’s biggest e-commerce company, is piloting a mobile messaging app aimed at marrying social networking with business, an Alibaba spokeswoman said on Friday, as the company expands its enterprise services. The app, called DingTalk, was quietly made available in December and is still in beta testing, according to its website. (http://www.dingtalk.com) Capable of carrying conference calls and group messaging, DingTalk targets small- and medium-sized enterprises, many of which are already Alibaba’s customers.
Chinese information technology solutions provider Ultrapower’s wholly-owned subsidiary is helping China’s biggest mobile provider compete with instant messaging apps like Facebook’s Whatsapp, Tencent’s Wechat, and Apple’s iMessage. Feinno Communication Tech, the Ultrapower subsidiary, has signed an agreement with China Mobile Guangdong branch to develop a customized platform and apps for the personal converged communications system project being created by the China Mobile branch.
Line’s DIY sticker marketplace used to be known for its largesse but from February 1, its terms are going to get a lot tighter. Currently, sticker creators get 50 percent of the proceeds from selling their stamps. Next month, that number will go down to 35 percent. The change will be effective worldwide. Though gaming is Line’s biggest money maker, the messaging app’s popularization of stickers in communication is a major contributor to its viral success.
Samsung revealed today that its messaging app, ChatOn, will shut up and shut down on February 1, 2015. South Korea’s Yonhap news agency quotes the tech giant as saying that the closure is its reaction to “changing demands in the market,” and that the world’s top smartphone maker wants to focus more “on other areas such as health and mobile commerce.”
Yet another high-profile message app has upped the ante on protecting its user data. KakaoTalk, the flagship app from Korea’s newly-formed Daum Kakao, announced today the introduction of “Secret Chat,” a special type of chatroom that implements end-to-end encryption for for all communications. The company states that decryption keys for messages in Secret Chat are stored on the users’ actual devices, which prevents outside parties from obtaining the contents of the chatroom.
NEW DELHI: Facebook-owned WhatsApp is the top messaging application in India with 52% market share, followed by Facebook Messenger with 42%, Skype with 37% and WeChat with 26% share, according to GlobalWebIndex (GWI) study. Viber stood at fifth spot with 18% share and Line stood at sixth position with 12%.
Last night in Tokyo, blockbuster messaging app Line held its first ever Creators Market Award ceremony. The Line Creators Market allows ordinary users to design and sell original stickers. The 40-sticker sets cost 100 yen each (US$0.85), with the creator keeping 50 percent of each sale. Line CEO Akira Morikawa took the stage before the awards were presented to reveal some impressive data about the Creators Market’s success.