Messaging and social media apps are what undoubtedly define the iGeneration. Though we know all the big names that run for the U.S, what's the biggest app used overseas? For Japan, the most popular app is LINE. Unlike the apps that run the Western world, LINE offers a multitude of features, including text, video chat, and calls. LINE also has a number of sponsored apps, from their games to their dictionary app, and the messenger also doubles as social media platform with their Facebook-like timeline and can make easy and secure payments through a tool called LINEPay. The app is certainly growing and has reached a startling recognition this year as tech's largest initial public offering.
So where did the app come from? LINE was created in 2011 after communications went down in Japan following a tsunami in the northeastern region. Naver, a South Korean giant in the technological races, released the app to the public after developing it through a Japanese counterpart, and since then LINE has been expanding throughout East Asia, most specifically in Japan, Taiwan, and Thailand.
After going to Japan myself, I can definitely say that LINE has a very strong impact on Japanese society, which soars in comparison to apps like Facebook or SnapChat. LINE advertisements can be seen almost anywhere--big company names, such as fast food chains and clothing stores--use LINE as a way to attract customers through coupons and other offerings. As an owner of the app, I can definitely vouch for its appeal, and I am surprised that it hasn't caught much steam here in the United States. If it isn't the multi-feature components that grasp interest, then it should be its array of personalization that can be made within the app, such as backgrounds and animated stickers that other messaging apps simply don't offer.
With the current momentum of grossing social media, there's is certainly room for more here in the United States!