NHN Japan Corporation announced on March 7 the release of the PC version (for Windows/Mac desktop clients) and browser version for smart tablets of its free calling and free messaging app “LINE”
LINE is a smartphone app which allows users to enjoy free calls and messages to one another, both nationally and internationally, regardless of which mobile network provider they are using. On March 5, 2012, 8 months since its launch in June 2011, LINE achieved a total of 20 million downloads worldwide (iPhone/Android combined) and continues to show rapid growth.
Of course LINE has always been available for use on smart phones and feature phones. However, with the introduction of the PC version, users can now enjoy LINE on their PCs as well, simply by installing the dedicated client software. At the same time, with the release of the browser version which caters especially for smart tablets, users can now enjoy LINE on their iPad and Android tablets. With large-sized screens typical of tablet devices, users can feel free to use LINE both at home and in the office. At the moment, only the Chat feature is supported on the PC and browser versions, and free calling is not yet available.
Furthermore, coupled with the release of these new features, NHN Japan has introduced a multi-device function with the updated version of the Android smart-phone app. Users will now have the option to register an email address and password to their LINE account which they can use to both log in to the PC or smart-tablet browser versions of LINE and to access their original LINE account details (such as Friends, Groups and Profile information). (Previously, the user’s phone number was used at the initial registration process, meaning that once the user changed his or her phone number and/or device, the LINE account would have to be reinitialized.)
- Users can also use their LINE QR Code to log in to the PC and browser versions without registering any additional details.
- NHN Japan is currently working on making these features available for iPhone app version and feature phones in the near future.
While LINE has always made it its policy to explicitly ask for prior consent from the user when obtaining contact details, this new version of LINE has made improvements to the user interface to make it even clearer and more understandable to the user.
As one of the world’s leading global messaging services, LINE aims to achieve the 100 million-user mark during 2012 and, consequently, will continue to improve the user friendliness of its services as well as protecting the user’s privacy.
On top of achieving the 20 million-download mark with the LINE smart-phone app, NHN Japan’s operations are centered around its portal site “livedoor” and the search engine “NAVER” as well as online games “Hangame” and provides many Internet services including games, search/portals, media, and matching. The total download figure for all smart-phone applications has reached in excess of 35 million (as of the end of January 2012) and, in addition, the Corporation has 44 million* unique users for PC games, making it the 4th most popular service within Japan. The company is headquartered in Shinagawa Ward, Tokyo. Its CEO is Akira Morikawa.
(*Figures according to comScore, as of the end of December 2011)