LINE, a messaging app primarily popular in Asia, now has 330 million registered users, according to a company rep we spoke with. The app added 30 million new users in less than two months.
We estimate that approximately 61% (or, 202 million) of LINE’s registered users are active each month.
Similar to other mobile messaging apps, LINE had a breakout year in 2013. It grew its monthly active user (MAU) audience by 213%. Company management expects that success to continue this year.
“We’re aiming for 500 million [registered] users in 2014,” LINE CEO Akira Morikawa was quoted as saying by CNET Japan.
However, LINE faces stiff competition from other messaging apps.
U.S.-based WhatsApp announced just a few days ago that it now has 430 million MAUs, having added 30 million new users in just one month. Furthermore, WhatsApp users are sharing a reported 50 billion messages daily, compared to the 7.2 billion that LINE was processing each day back in November. Growth for both LINE and WhatsApp are neck and neck. WhatsApp grew its MAU audience by 212% over the course of 2013.
Also, China-based WeChat remains a formidable competitor for both LINE and WhatsApp. WeChat last reported an MAU figure of 272 million in September 2013, when its parent company Tencent announced third quarter earnings. We estimate that WeChat is growing its MAU audience at roughly 4.5% each month, which would mean the app now has approximately 325 million MAUs. Annual growth for 2013 is estimated at roughly 96%.
China has 618 million Internet users, 80% of whom access the Internet via smartphones, so expect WeChat to continue growing at a steady pace. Meanwhile, LINE and WhatsApp will continue expanding to a greater variety of international markets in 2014.