Hot on the heels of Facebook Lite, LINE’s recent launch of its own light-weight messaging app confirms the importance of such services to emerging markets.
Currently available for Android devices only, LINE Lite clocks in at just 1MB and focuses solely on chat features (omitting the VoIP and social networking functions that the company’s primary app provides).
To date, LINE has been most successful in its home market of Japan as well as in places like Taiwan and Thailand (where over 50% of online adults are using it). Elsewhere, usage has typically been more modest but there are a handful of countries where the app has been making decent process. Many of these markets are among the first to get LINE Lite, including India, Mexico, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, South Korea and Vietnam. In many of these countries, about 10-15% are currently using LINE, giving it a decent foothold and the potential for expansion.
Also relevant here is that, with the exception of South Korea, many internet users in these countries still struggle with slow mobile connections and could clearly benefit from LINE Lite’s stripped-down approach. And with an IPO on the horizon, LINE needs to prove it can expand outside its core markets.
For more about light-weight apps, check out our blog ‘Why Facebook Lite is a Sign of Things to Come’