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Technology  26, Feb 2014

Chat app LINE announces 3 new features, including calls to non-users

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More spiffy LINE features to come your way. How is the Japanese chat app working to engage more users and partners?

I’d like to think Japanese chat messenger LINE is like Doraemon. From Japan, the robotic cat featured in an eponymous cartoon series always seems to have a bag full of tricks — its very own swiss army knife of handy solutions. LINE, too, surprises us with new features every now and then.

Today, the chat app has released three features:

- LINE Phone/ LINE call, an open call system which allows LINE users to call non-LINE users via the app for a small fee. Coming to Japan, the US, Mexico, Spain, Thailand and the Philippines this March 2014, the calls can be made to numbers all over the world.

According to the official statement, the name of this service will be LINE Phone in Japan and LINE Call in remaining parts of the world.

- LINE Business Connect, a service that allows businesses to customise accordingly to LINE’s features with its API. For example, businesses can register a corporate official account on the app, which gives them more reach than competitors who are not on the platform. LINE has also put up a webpage for companies looking to partner them.

- LINE Creators Market, a platform that allows anyone to sell stamps and stickers that can be used on LINE. Registration seems fairly simple; creators have to enter necessary information, submit their creations, and wait for approval. After their profiles get approved, they may start selling. However, do note that the authors will only receive 50 per cent of the sales proceeds.

Read Also: Japan’s e-commerce giant Rakuten to acquire chat app Viber for US$900M

What do you think LINE will come up with next? Well, definitely not a deal with Softbank, given its denial yesterday via Reuters.

Elaine Huang

Elaine Huang

Elaine is a fervent believer that if there ever is a zombie apocalypse, we will all be snapping away at them with our phones and posting them onto Instagram. A Mass Communication graduate of Ngee Ann Polytechnic's School of Film and Media Studies, she enjoys writing about technology and entrepreneurs. When not hashtagging her way through all sorts of trouble, Elaine is probably contemplating how to write in the third person.

  • Designer Guy

    LINE charges 50 percent commission for sticker sales? I hope they don’t ever come up with an app store.

  • Elaine Huang

    Agree with you – 50 percent is a tad exorbitant, when compared to Apple’s 30 percent.

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