NHN Japan to Launch LINE's New Platform Service, 'LINE Channel'
TOKYO, July 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- NHN Japan Corporation has announced that a new platform service, 'LINE Channel', is scheduled to be implemented very soon into its free-calling and free-messaging app 'LINE' (http://line.naver.jp/). This important announcement took place on July 3 at the first ever 'Hello, Friends in Tokyo' conference held at the new Shibuya Hikarie Hall. NHN Japan stated that 'LINE Channel' will be catered firstly toward the Japanese market, followed by a gradual move overseas.
Since the launch of 'LINE' on June 23, 2011, this smartphone app, which allows its users to enjoy free calls and messages, has been used in over 230 countries worldwide, and within approximately a year since its launch, the total number of registered users has exceeded 45 million (20 million in Japan). With this rapidly growing user number in mind, NHN Japan is introducing a new platform service, 'LINE Channel', which aims to expand the range of services on offer, using LINE as its foundation. This new feature will be available on the iPhone and Android versions of the LINE app, with Windows Phone versions planned for the near future.
Designed on the basis of the concept of the 'Smartphone-life Platform' which is intended to provide a more fun and enriching experience to smartphone users, 'LINE Channel' functions as a platform integrating additional apps and services. With 'LINE Channel', users can enjoy additional apps with or without their friends connected via LINE.
NHN Japan aims to establish a new ecosystem (economic zone) for smartphone-related services by offering various content and services developed by its external business partners for the 45 million users worldwide. In the first installment, services including games, fortune-telling and money-saving coupons are scheduled to be released from early July.
These new services and content are provided in 2 ways. The first is 'Web apps' based on HTML5 that operate within the LINE app and the second is 'Native apps' that are available at the app markets for iOS and Android devices and can be linked to the LINE service. Although NHN Japan's self-developed apps alone will be released at first, NHN Japan has made it clear that it plans to increase the availability of apps developed by external business partners by opening its API and offering developers access to LINE's functions including friends lists, messaging and payment. NHN Japan has opened a webpage dedicated to finding new external partners via the contact form within LINE (http://line.naver.jp/partner/).
Moreover, 'LINE Coin', a mobile, virtual payment service for purchases of the content/services within 'LINE Channel', has been released. By purchasing LINE Coins in advance, users can access the paid content within 'LINE Channel'.
NHN Japan will first of all apply this 'smartphone-life platform' strategy towards the Japanese market, before gradually increasing these services overseas. The company has also announced that it wishes to work together with external developers from all countries and regions, and use its expertise to expand LINE's linked services/apps worldwide, as well as creating a connecting point for overseas services/apps to Japan, for the successful establishment of a 'global smartphone-life platform'.