JAPAN - It was back in June when Naver Japan, a Japanese local subsidiary of Korea's search portal giant, introduced a mobile messenger app called Line. It enables free IP phone calls and group chat among up to 100 users at a time. On Friday, the company announced the app has remarkably hit more than 2 million downloads in just three months since its release.
Both the iPhone and Android apps are available for free. By registering your friends with their phone numbers, you are allowed to only connect with other users you know well. For group chatting with foreign language speakers, interpretation assistant functions were recently added, which helps you communicate in Japanese, Chinese, and English.
In Apple's Appstore Social Networking category ranking, the app reached the top in Japan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, Macau, and Hong Kong.
In foreign countries, mobile operators mostly provide their users with no e-mail service, unlike Japanese operators. The users have no option other than SMS as text messaging and are required to pay for it additionally.
The company's chief strategist of business development, Mr. Jun Masuda, said: "Not a few messenger apps have been introduced, but we suppose our app [has gotten] a high reputation because it's absolutely free."
The company expects to add video call and group call functions shortly.