Messaging app LINE has reached 300 million registered users, according to its maker — reaching a target set by the company’s CEO earlier this year.
LINE Corporation’s boss Akira Morikawa said the company is aiming to reach 500 million registered users by the end of 2014 and “to develop LINE into the world’s top communication service”.
The app increased its user base from 200 million to 300 million in the space of just four months. It took 19 months to gain the first 100 million users, and six months to gain the next 100 million.
The figures should be treated with some caution, however, as they are for registered users rather than monthly active users, which is a better measure of user engagement. LINE also counts registered users multiple times if they are using the service on different devices.
This means LINE still counts users who sign up for the app and then access it a few times before deciding to stop using the service.
The current leading OTT messaging app in terms of monthly active users is WhatsApp, which recently reached 350 million monthly active users. The latest figure for Tencent’s WeChat is 272 million monthly active users.
LINE was first launched in Japan in 2011 and has found success through offering stickers to attract younger users and providing a gaming service over its platform. Game revenue accounted for 60 per cent of its total revenue in the third quarter of 2013 with around 20 per cent coming from sticker purchases.
LINE has performed particularly strongly in East Asia but the company claims the number of registered users is also growing steadily in Spanish-speaking regions, including Spain and Mexico.
It is also working to gain new users in India, Turkey and Western Europe through localised promotions and partnerships.
LINE claimed to have gained 10 million users in India in just three months, after a series of TV commercials and a partnership with Sony India. The company anticipates 20 million Indian users by the end of the year.
LINE Corporation recorded JPY19.1 billion ($194.5 million) in revenue during the July-to-September period of 2013, with the LINE messaging app itself generating JPY9.9 billion.