Sometime way back in late 2011, my god brother who lives in Boston told me to download an app called LINE so that we could talk to each other on the phone without paying long distance fees. I asked him, why not use Skype? He replied, LINE’s much better and it’s a free download. So I went ahead and downloaded Line, we ended up chatting for about an hour or so and the call quality was so clear, without any lag, that I forgot it was a free long-distance call. Fast forward to Spring 2013, I was invited to the launch of LINE Singapore and I thought it would be good to get reacquainted.
The first product that I got to use personally, as described above, is LINE — a mobile messenger and offers free messaging, calling and group chatting. LINE is not only available for use on smartphones but also on various multi-devices such as PCs and tablets. It is a cross platform communication service that supports various OS such as iOS, Android, Blackberry, and Windows.
Beyond just a mobile messenger, within the short year since I last used the mobile messenger, LINE has expanded its offering to LINE Games, LINE PLAY and LINE Camera, making it a ‘Smartphone Life Platform’. I was rather surprised to find out that there are actually tons of people already using LINE! I admit that after that call with my god brother in Boston, I ceased using the app because… he was the only contact I have on the app address book! Sadness max. *sniffles* However, when I turned on the app again a few weeks ago, I was shocked to see that plenty of my friends have jumped onboard since I last used the app. Whoa! So now I’m happy that my address book in the app contains more than one pathetic entry. :P
LINE – a Japanese-Korean hybrid company – is now embarking on the second phase of its expansion plans after its initial rapid phase of organic growth. In just 21 months after its debut, LINE achieved 130 million users across 231 countries from Asia to America, Europe and Africa. The largest number of users are from Japan, Thailand, and Taiwan. As a pioneer of new mobile services, LINE Games attained a historic milestone of 100 million downloads in just seven months of its release. LINE PLAY, a unique avatar communication service, has ranked number one on the Top Free Apps charts in a host of countries including Thailand, Taiwan, Indonesia and Malaysia right after its global launch. Very impressive achievement. Now, LINE has declared its full commitment to the Singapore market and Singapore will serve as Asia’s hub for LINE’s new branding initiatives.
During the launch at Kinki – a chic rooftop Japanese restaurant serving “Nuevo Nipponized Nibbles” (heh, I came up with that) – I got into a brief tete-a-tete with Simeon Cho (General Manager, LINE Business Office) and Jinny Kim (Manager, Global LINE Business). Nothing overly geeky, just exchanging insights on the internet penetration rate and smartphone usage in Singapore (ie. very high in Asia!).
I gamely took pictures of the food using LINE Camera, which has numerous decorating functions such as photo frames, stamps, unique filtered effects, brushes and font styles. I didn’t go crazy with the filters or stamps, but there is one photo below where I added some blings and stars with it.
It was a very enjoyable evening for me as it was a cozy event with a small group of bloggers – whom I was already pally with, and there were nonstop stream of food and booze, so it felt like an impromptu happy hour shindig amongst buddies.