Messaging app Line passes 200 million users

The 2-year-old mobile messaging and sticker app, immensely popular in Asian countries, is now trying to take over the rest of the world.

Jennifer Van Grove Former Senior Writer / News
Jennifer Van Grove covered the social beat for CNET. She loves Boo the dog, CrossFit, and eating vegan. Her jokes are often in poor taste, but her articles are not.
Jennifer Van Grove
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Two-year-old messaging application Line said Tuesday that it now has more than 200 million registered users, which puts it alongside WhatsApp and Viber in the top tier of mobile messaging and VoIP services amassing massive audiences.

Japan-based Line launched in June 2011 and initially developed a huge following in Asian countries, but has been branching out to other regions, including Spain, India, and South America.

The application supports messaging and voice over Internet Protocol calling, but is known for popularizing digital sticker packs, or character-driven emoticons, which it sells for about $1.99 a piece. The sticker business is actually a pretty big deal for Line, and one that's also become quite lucrative.

In a previous conversation with CNET, Line U.S. CEO Jeanie Han said users send more than 750 million stickers each day. The company made 30 percent of its first quarter 2013 revenue, or around $18 million, from selling sticker packs, according to its earnings statement.

Line's success with stickers has inspired American app-makers such as Path and Facebook to add their own interpretations on the expressive emoji to their services.

line growth

With 200 million registered users, Line joins an elite crop of seemingly unstoppable messaging services that are likely siphoning attention from away from Facebook, which makes its own mobile and Web messaging products. On average, 80 percent of registered users are active with the Line application each month, Han said. Competitor WhatsApp, which charges $0.99 a year, has more than 250 million active users.