Months after its messaging app was blocked in China, the company behind Line is “optimistic” it can bring the service back to the country in the near future, in spite of the government’s growing censorship of the Internet. “We are very optimistic about reopening our service,” said Shin Jungho, CEO of Line Plus on Wednesday. “I cannot open today. I just want to say in the near future, I think we can open our service again.” Shin made the comments on the sidelines of the World Internet Conference in Wuzhen, China, where the nation’s government has gathered tech executives from across the globe.
At a Mobile Marketing Association forum event in Jakarta today, Indonesian telco XL Axiata released data that confirms WhatsApp is the most dominant chat app used by its domestic customers. Based on slides presented at the event, WhatsApp accounts for nearly 70 percent of its customers’ daily chat app usage, while Line accounts for 39 percent, WeChat clocks in at 35 percent, and Blackberry Messenger (BBM) holds 9 percent.
Asian messaging apps like Hike of India, Line from Japan, and WeChat from China have been making big inroads into a growing smartphone crowd – but the big daddy of them all WhatsApp remains comfortably perched on top in India. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) -owned WhatsApp now has 70 million active users (MAUs) in India, out of a total global user base of 600 million. WhatsApp’s business head Neeraj Arora announced the latest figures at the INK Conference in Mumbai, PTI reported.
MUMBAI: Mobile messenger service WhatsApp’s user base in India has grown to 70 million active-users, which is over a 10th of its global users, its business head Neeraj Arora said today. “We have 70 million active-users here who use the application at least once a month,” Arora, a vice-president with WhatsApp, said at the fifth annual INK Conference here.
Today popular messaging app Line revealed its revenues for the three-month span of July to September. If there were any doubts that the firm is poised to replace longtime heavyweights DeNA and Gree as Japan’s next big tech hope, the latest news should put them to rest. In those three months, the company raked in JPY 23 billion (US$211 million), a 16.6 percent rise from the previous quarter and a whopping 82.9 percent increase from the same period last year.
Messaging app Line now has 30 million registered users in India, according to the Japan-based company that runs the popular service. That’s up from 10 million Indian users this time last year. The app first rolled out in the country, backed by an expensive TV ad campaign, in June 2013. Line has over 600 million registered users around the world, of whom 170 million are monthly active users.
NEW DELHI: India’s only home bred instant messenger app Hike has called out to former Yahoo engineers with employment opportunities at the company which is fast expanding operations, even offering free iPads to those who get selected. “One of the biggest issues we’re facing is not being able to develop killer, awesome features in Hike, fast enough,” the company said in a blog post.
TextLocal’s mobile messaging platform for SMBs has served over 120,000 businesses. MUMBAI, INDIA: IMImobile, a global technology company providing software and services which help businesses capitalise on the growth in mobile communications, announced the acquisition of TxtLocal Limited (TextLocal), a self-service, cloud based, mobile messaging business.
Myanmar is a country that is still off the map for most investors and startups. It’s considered to be years behind Cambodia, which is in turn, years behind Vietnam, which is behind Thailand. And everyone is behind Indonesia in interest level. The numbers in Myanmar reveal the reason. In a population of 60 million people, below five million are online.
The younger generation in Singapore and other Asia Pacific countries are adopting WeChat, a mobile social communication application for smartphones, in droves. According to GlobalWebIndex (GWI), a market research company specialising in online consumer behaviour, WeChat’s active user base has increased over 55% from Q2 2013 to Q2 2014 globally, with Singapore’s growth attributed at 60%.
The BBC has just started using the popular messaging app Line to share news. The British broadcaster now has an official account on Line in 11 countries – the US, Australia, Spain, Germany, Italy, India, France, the Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. With this, the BBC is sharing a mix of headlined images and very short video clips overlaid with captions to its followers. It looks like this:
NEW DELHI: Targetting youth under 25, instant messaging application hike messenger is aiming to reach 100 million customers by the end of next year. “We have reached a user base of 35 million in August, with 15 million additions in just two months, and are targetting to reach 100 million in the next 12-18 months,” Hike Founder and CEO Kavin Bharti Mittal told PTI.
The strength of China’s web giants and the diversity of its startups usually means that no one service dominates to the extent that, say, Google or Facebook does in other nations. But that hasn’t been true of messaging apps. To chat with a buddy in China, you use WeChat. There are other apps, but WeChat is the only real show in town, with well over 430 million active users to prove it. But that’s not stopping local startups from making new messaging apps. One of the newest and definitely the coolest of these is CatchChat . It’s based around selfies – or any kind of photo and video you want to share – with the option of overlaying some text.
SINGAPORE: United States company Fragmented Industry Exchange (FIE) will be buying Singapore eDevelopment’s (SeD) subsidiary, HotApps International, for US$700 million (S$876 million). In a press release on Thursday (Sep 4), the Singapore Exchange (SGX) Catalist-listed SeD said FIE will acquire HotApps for 1 million new shares at US$10 each and US$690 million worth of zero-coupon perpetual bonds – for a total of US$700 million. Once the deal is completed, FIE will hold HotApps – an instant messaging software developer – as a wholly owned subsidiary, it said.
Line, the messaging app that has nabbed 490 million registered users in three years, announced its plans for becoming a major player in the ecommerce industry at a news conference in Tokyo today. The strategy marks an interesting inflection point for Line. The service gained popularity for it’s colorful stickers, grew its revenue base with mobile games , and now has its sights set on ecommerce.
Free messaging app Hike, the Indian answer to WhatsApp, Line, and WeChat, has just raised its largest round of funding: US$65 million led by Tiger Global Management. Bharti SoftBank (BSB), a joint venture of Bharti Enterprises and Japan’s Softbank Corporation, also participated in the latest round. Earlier, Hike had raised US$7 million in 2013, and another US$14 million in April 2014 from BSB.
NEW DELHI: About a decade and half after Sunil Mittal’s Bharti Airtel raised $60 million from Warburg Pincus, Hike, the instant messenger app company founded by his son Kavin, has raised $65 million from foreign investors led by New York-based Tiger Global. “I raised my first $60 million at age 42, Kavin has done it at 26. Sign of a changing India. A youthful and tech savvy India. A big congratulations to Kavin and his stellar team at Hike,” Sunil Mittal told ET.
Line’s DIY sticker shop is proving to be a respectable hit. The company behind the popular messaging app is reporting that user-created stickers hit JPY 1.23 billion (just under US$12 million) in sales for the three-and-a-half month period ending August 7. While that is still a small fraction of LINE’s overall revenues – US$177 million from April to June 2014 – it still shows remarkable growth.
Chinese web giant Tencent (HKG:0700) has just released its Q2 earnings report. We’ll look at the financials later, but first the number that we all want to see – Tencent’s messaging app, WeChat, is now at 438.2 million monthly active users (MAUs). Social gaming tied to WeChat and QQ (Tencent’s old MSN-style instant messaging service) generated RMB 3 billion (US$487.4 million) in revenue in Q2. That newest WeChat MAU figure is up from 396 million in Q1; it’s risen from 236 million at the same period last year. Here’s a chart of every MAU figure for WeChat that the company has ever released:
China is tightening control over mobile messaging services with new rules that limit their role in spreading news. The regulations will affect WeChat, a messaging service with close to 400 million active users that is one of China’s most popular apps. The rules specifically target so-called “public accounts” that users such as scholars, celebrities, and businesses can set up to reach a wide audience. Under the new regulations, only news agencies and other groups with official approval can publish whatever the government considers political news via public accounts. “All other public accounts that have not been approved cannot release or reprint political news,” the regulations said.