Line plans to woo users with local office
CHAT app Line is opening an office in Singapore, as part of an ambitious bid to become the primary messaging app for mobile users here.
The office will be up and running by the third quarter of the year, said Simeon Cho, the general manager for Line's business development at Line Plus Corporation.
Elsewhere in the region, the aggressive rollout has already seen Line open offices in Malaysia and Indonesia.
The Seoul-based service has enjoyed exponential growth in its user base since its launch in 2011. There were 400 million registered Line users worldwide at last count.
Tellingly, however, Line does not release monthly active user (MAU) figures, which better reflect actual usage. Rivals WeChat and WhatsApp have more than 355 million and 400 million MAUs, respectively.
"This year, my goal is to get Line users to use Line every day. We want to make Line the main messenger for the smartphone user in Singapore," Mr Cho said, speaking on the sidelines of the opening of Line's pop-up store at Wisma Atria on Wednesday.
He would not reveal the size of Line's user base in Singapore, but his goal a year ago was for the app to hit three million downloads locally. Indonesia has 20 million registered users, while Malaysia has 10 million.
As part of the localisation efforts here, Line's mascots - Cony the rabbit and Brown the bear - will be putting in some face time. In addition, Line's pop-up store is selling plush-toy versions of Cony, Brown and their furry friends.
The store might be open only until May 22, but what it will signal to the market, Line hopes, is that the app is here to stay.