Line, the messaging-app-cum-social network that started in Asia but has spread beyond its home turf to amass more than 100 million users globally, has just added French and Brazilian Portuguese versions of its Android and iOS apps as it looks to continue ramping up its global user-base. It already offers Spanish versions of its apps.
The company told TechCrunch earlier this month that the South American market is a priority for it, along with the U.S.
Line, which is made by software and gaming company NHN Japan Corporation, offers free messaging and communications services as its hook to get users on board but sells other content such as stickers to monetize the service.
Line is hugely popular in its initial Japanese market, with close to 50 million users there. But late last year it launched Spanish versions of its apps, and is currently running a marketing campaign in Spain. Uptake in Spain (now its next largest market after Asia) has convinced it that it has a good chance of building a user base in Latin America, according to Line’s U.S. CEO Jeanie Han, speaking to TechCrunch earlier this month.
She argued that Line appeals to Latin cultures owing to its “fun” and visual approach to messaging with elements like its stickers. As well as South American, the U.S.’s large Hispanic population is another group Han expects to be able to win Line fans from.
The Spanish language version of Line launched for Android in November 2012 and for iPhone in December 2012. The company has not yet announced user numbers for Spain.
In South America, Line will be competing with the likes of Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger and Voxer.