LINE, the world’s leading mobile platform with 560 million users, announced various services and new business ventures at its conference in Tokyo. We list below details of these announcements by LINE:
Planned Release: Winter, 2014
Supported Regions: Global (Credit Card Payment Only)
LINE Pay is a payment system that lets users pay for a variety of services by using the LINE app on their iPhone or Android smartphone, including of course LINE and related services, associated stores, web services, and apps. Payment can be made by linking credit cards, paying at convenience stores, or by adding money beforehand with an account from an associated bank. Using LINE’s unique characteristics, users can split the purchase price of goods and services among their LINE friends by using the “Share Payment” feature, or even send money directly to a friend’s bank account without having to input their bank information by using the “Send Money” feature. The “Withdrawal” feature will let users deposit the money sent to them directly into their associated bank account.
LINE GAME has been built up around casual games such as LINE: Disney Tsum Tsum and LINE Rangers up until this point, and will now offer from Autumn 2014, mid-core and core games to audiences such as LINE POP 2 (Puzzle), LINE Puzzle Trio (Puzzle) etc.
LINE TAXI will be offered in collaboration with Nihon Kotsu Co., Ltd. Users will be able to call a taxi anytime, anywhere, from within the LINE app or by using the LINE TAXI official account. Taxis will be dispatched to a certain location based on GPS info or building info and payment can be made through LINE Pay. The Tokyo-only version is planned for initial release this winter, with almost 3,300 of Nihon Kotsu’s taxis available through the service. The nationwide expansion is planned for late January, 2015, with almost 22,000 taxis becoming available through the 123 taxi operation groups associated with Nihon Kotsu through the “National Taxi Dispatch” app. The service eventually hopes to expand its business model worldwide through partnerships with taxi companies around the globe.
Supported Regions: Japan
LINE WOW is LINE’s first ever food delivery service, with deliveries being provided by LINE Bros., a company founded as a joint investment with the Woowa Brothers Corp., which is responsible for the development of Korea’s largest food delivery app “Baedal Minjok”. The initial step of LINE WOW will be the establishment of a food delivery service offering premium lunches from world-renowned restaurants such as “Ozaki (Japanese food)” and “a nu retrouvez (French food)”. The service will open with a soft launch in Fall, 2014, offering deliveries only in the Shibuya District of Tokyo, with a gradual expansion of shops, menus, area, and delivery times.
The [email protected] ID is a separate LINE account that any user can make. Separate from the regular LINE account, which was designed to offer a means of private communication between family members, friends, and classmates, this new type of account will offer a wide avenue of communication between a variety of users and customers. Both corporate and individual users can create an account without undergoing a review process, and multiple accounts can be held at once. By using the exclusive [email protected] app (support for both Android and iOS planned) to obtain an ID, users may communicate and post information through the relevant app by using 1-to-1 chats, posts to their Home and Timeline, and more.
LINE Maps for Indoor
LINE Maps for Indoor is a map application that specializes in navigating through commercial buildings such as shopping centers and department stores. Service is planned to start in autumn 2014 for Android only, and at the time of release indoor maps for almost 40 locations in the Tokyo area will be available.
LINE MUSIC is a music streaming service whose expansion will be run by LINE MUSIC Inc. (name tentative), a company established through the triple investment of avex digital Inc., Sony Music Entertainment, Inc., and LINE Corporation. Planned for release this year, the three companies are currently in detailed negotiations concerning the establishment of LINE MUSIC Inc.
LINE Official Blogs
Planned Release: November 4
Supported Regions: Japan
LINE Official Blogs is a blog service that will open the doors for artists and other celebrities to participate. By creating a LINE Official Blog, they will have access to all the capabilities and options to share information of a traditional blogging service in addition to the option to link the blog to LINE’s wide array of communication services, such as LINE official accounts, LINE Mall, and LINE PLAY.
LINE Paid Official Accounts
Planned Release: This Year
Supported Regions: Japan
LINE paid official accounts offer an avenue for artists and other celebrities to give exclusive information to subscribers of their official accounts. LINE Pay is planned to be used as the payment method for this new service.