Published : 2013-01-13 10:58
Updated : 2013-01-13 10:58
NHN Japan, a subsidiary of South Korea's top portal operator NHN Corp., is likely to see the number of its "LINE" messenger users break the 100 million mark this week, sources said Sunday.
LINE, launched in June 2011, is the company's free group messenger application that runs on the Android, Blackberry and iOS operating systems.
The service, which has been launched in roughly 230 countries, has ranked No. 1 in downloads on Google Play and App Store platforms in 41 countries.
After garnering most of its users in Japan and South Korea, the messenger has recently been gaining traction in countries such as Taiwan, Thailand and Spain.
Market watchers projected LINE to attract 200 million users this year if the trend continues.
"LINE's high growth will become more prominent this year.
Breaking the 200-million mark is quite feasible at the end of this year," said an industry source.
Meanwhile, market watchers pinned hopes that the 100-million milestone will help the mobile messenger drive its global expansion.
"No mobile carrier or game developer has achieved the 100 million mark only on the back of its domestic service. The milestone means that LINE has settled down as a social network service in the global market," said Kang Lok-hee, an analyst at Daishin Securities Co.
Kang, however, added the company should come up with a business model to generate revenue. (Yonhap News)