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Line aims to morph into ‘mobile platform’

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Line has unveiled its strategy for 2017 – with the focus on making users’ lives easier in the digital era through communication, content, services and commerce and turning the popular platform into a “mobile portal”.

Ariya Banomyong, managing director of Line Thailand, said the Kingdom was a mobile-first country with 44 million mobile Internet users, or two-thirds of the population. 
Ariya said many Thais were accessing the Internet for the first time on a smartphone, not a computer. 
He said Line’s ambition was to become a mobile centre, “or what we call a mobile portal, used by Thai people for their everyday needs – making their lives easier and more convenient”.
Thailand is Line’s second largest market with 94 per cent of mobile Internet users in the Kingdom using the platform, the company claimed.
Ariya the company’s strategy was based on four pillars – communication, content, services and commerce.
According to Nielsen’s research, Thais spend 70 minutes per day on Line on average – one-third of the 234 minutes per day they spend on a smartphone on average.
For a content perspective, video is the No 1 content format Thais prefer. Thailand’s online video consumption is 133 minutes per day on average, which is two times higher than the global average.
Line TV has continued its expansion with two new content categories – sport and beaut – while Line Today is now fully integrated into Line as a result of the recent launch of News Tab. Line Today aims to become Thailand’s No 1 mobile news portal in 2017. It will start monetisation in third quarter.
For the service pillar, Line said only three to five apps on people’s smartphones are frequently used daily. So, Line believes chat BOTs will replace apps and it will make services available via Line without the need to download other apps.
For the e-commerce pillar, Line believes there are big opportunities available for bridging the offline and online worlds, or what is also referred to as O2O (online to offline). In response to this, Line has launched its Beacon service. Stores can set up “beacons” so users can receive coupons and product information via Line when they visit that store. 
Line Man, meanwhile, is expanding from messenger, food and convenience goods delivery to postal services by partnering with Alpha to cater to users’ various lifestyles.
“As a leading mobile platform, Line continues to develop new services and solutions to respond and fulfil user needs by making people’s life easier with innovations to complete our company mission closing the distance by bringing people, information and services closer together as well as to be a part of driving the digital economy in Thailand” Ariya said.
Line at a glance:
Line Man was launched in May 2016, with messenger, food and convenience goods delivery. With some 400,000 users and some 20,000 restaurants, Line Man has become the No 1 food delivery service in Thailand in less than a year, the company claimed.
Line Game has retained its No 1 market share.
And with 500 million sticker sets downloaded last year, stickers remain Thais favourite way of communicating and expressing emotions.

Published : March 21, 2017

By : The Nation