Line continues its apparent growth tear. The mobile messaging app that’s extremely popular in its home market of Japan has announced it’s passed the 200 million global registered users mark, some two years after launching. Line passed 100 million users back in January.
It should be noted that the 200 million figure is not monthly active users but rather refers to
app downloads registered users – combined for Line’s iPhone/Android/Windows Phone/BlackBerry/Nokia Asha/feature phone apps. Update: This means that Line actually counts some users multiple times in that registered users figure, if they are using its service on different mobile devices. So the 200 million figure is likely being inflated somewhat — although it’s not possible to say by how much.
Line’s user account help section notes:
You can only verify one smartphone per mobile phone number/email address.
To register LINE for use on a different device, please make sure that you have another phone number or email address available for each device.
★If you access the same LINE account from another device using the same email address/phone number, your LINE account will be automatically deleted from the previous device.
The company also does not break out sent/received monthly messages, which is another useful metric to judge messaging app engagement. But Line has previously told TechCrunch the proportion of active to registered monthly Line users can be as high as 80%. That active peak is likely to be in Line’s Asian stronghold markets, like Japan, rather than the international markets it has since expanded to — including the U.S. and Europe, however.
Line competes with a raft of mobile messaging apps — including the veteran WhatsApp, which last month announced it had hit 250 million monthly active users. While relative newcomer, China’s WeChat, now has a registered user base of around 300 million — of which it reports 190 million are monthly active users. If Line continues to eschew reporting its monthly active users it’s hard to escape the conclusion it’s struggling to match the engagement levels of its biggest rivals.
Line Corporation does break out earnings from in-app purchases, such as sticker packs. In its Q1 revenue report earlier this year Line reported earnings of $58.9 million, half from in-app game purchases and just under a third from sticker sales. The majority (80%) of those revenues were, however, generated in Japan.
Line’s core sticker characters are quintessentially kawaii but it continues to attempt to localise the mascots to broaden their appeal — including making Ramadan-friendly sticker packs for Indonesian users, being promoted in the below advert.