Japan’s Line Chat App Wants to Reach 300 Million Users in 2013



Line advertised on a train in Taiwan

It was a pretty big year for NHN Japan and its Line chat application in 2012. And according to a Taiwanese news report, the company plans to be equally ambitious this year as well. Focus Taiwan cites NHN representatives as saying that the company is targeting 300 to 400 million users by year’s end.

That would be a truly stunning figure for a service that only launched back in mid-2011. The report quotes Kang Hyun-bin, the head of Line business at NHN Corp in South Korea as saying that the chat app is expected to pass 100 million users this month.

In Taiwan specifically, Line has more than 10 million users, and Kang noted that NHN could open a branch office there soon. As we noted last week, NHN has gone so far as to advertise on trains in Taiwan, with QR codes displayed inside train cars so passengers can read and receive events from the application.

NHN’s lofty goal of 300 to 400 million users would put it into a stratosphere where only a few social giants have gone before. While user numbers for all social networks can be tricky to get a handle on, only Facebook, Twitter, Qzone, Google+, and Sina Weibo are playing at that level 1.

Similarly, another Japanese social player also expressed ambitions to take his company to such a level. GREE CEO Yoshikazu Tanaka said back in 2011 that he hoped his social games company could one day hit between 500 million and a billion users. The social gaming giant, recently launched a test version of its own chat application, ostensibly in an effort to keep up with the meteoric rise of Line, which has been successfully using chat as a games distribution platform.

  1. This according to Wikipedia’s list of the world’s social networking sites. I’m choosing to link to this page, as it’s a resource that will be updated over time.

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