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How LINE Started?

LINE is a freeware app for instant communications on electronic devices such as smartphones, tablet computers, and personal computers.

This app transforms the way people communicate, closing the distance between family, friends, and loved ones for free.

The Founders

Kim Beom-soo, is a South Korean billionaire businessman. He has a BSc degree in engineering, and an MSc degree, both from Seoul National University.

Kim's first job was as a developer for an online communication service at Samsung’s IT services unit.

Lee Hae-jin was born in Seoul in 1967. He studied computer science at Seoul National University and KAIST before joining Samsung SDS in 1992.

He left the company in 1999 to set up Naver which was originally an in-house venture at Samsung.

In 1998, Kim and Lee started Hangame with $184,000. The company started as an internet café business but later became South Korea's first online gaming portal.

He merged the company with web portal Naver in 2000 and later worked as a representative of NHN until 2007.

Lee took the helm of the company as chairman of the board in 2013.

He stood away from the media limelight but in 2013 when the mobile messenger LINE recorded 300 million users, he made a public appearance for the first time in 12 years.

How LINE Was Created?

LINE began as a response to the disaster of Japan's devastating Tōhoku earthquake in March 2011. It damaged telecommunications infrastructure nationwide, obliging employees at Naver Japan, a unit of Korea's Naver Corp, to rely on Internet-based resources to communicate.

The company developed LINE to facilitate this, and the company released their app for public use in June.

The application proved hugely popular and by late October, LINE experienced an unexpected server overload.

In July 2012, Naver announced the new Line features "Home" and "Timeline." The features allowed users to share recent personal developments to a community of contacts in real-time, similar to the status updates in social networking services such as Facebook.

Mission and Vision

LINE’s mission and vision have allowed them to continue succeeding.

Their mission is to respect the culture and norms of each individual country in order to engage users on a very deep level and evolve in each region.

Their vision is ‘Life on LINE’, to become the “life infrastructure” for their users, always ready to fulfill their needs, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Why LINE Is Popular

The reason why LINE stood out from other messaging applications is because they had stickers. Since the app was first popular in Japan, it is because Japan’s culture is known for its love of anime and emojis.

Though they have a series of their own LINE character stickers, creators can also share their original stickers for free or sell them for LINE coins, which is a currency used in the app for users to purchase stickers and themes.

Moreover, it’s a great way for companies to promote their brand by making their own brand and character stickers available for free.

After LINE stickers were introduced, they started to make stickers for Facebook in 2013.

LINE also has other interesting features that messaging apps did not have back then such as LINE Pay, LINE Games, and LINE Manga.

LINE In The Pandemic

Ever since COVID-19 started, Naver Japan updated LINE with an interesting feature, but it is only available to users of Japan.

Coronavirus concerns have been addressed in the app to help advise and equip users with the latest information and support during the ongoing spread of the virus.

LINE has a dedicated menu for COVID-19, with quick links to the latest news and tips on how to use LINE during Japan’s state of emergency.

LINE Team recommends using app features such as live video for holding virtual events.

Moreover, the app is offering LINE Health Care which allows users to consult with doctors for free. Those who are self-isolating and experiencing health problems can receive instant professional advice through this new service.

In addition, LINE has been working with Japan’s Ministry of Health in conducting regular surveys.


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