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LINE messenger breaks 300 mln user milestone

All Headlines 15:40 November 25, 2013

SEOUL, Nov. 25 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top portal operator Naver Corp. said Monday that its free messenger application LINE broke the 300-million download mark as worldwide smartphone users rushed to connect with one another through the mobile messenger service.

The milestone came four months after the service drew 200 million users in July and seven months after attracting 150 million in April this year. The free messenger service was launched in June 2011.

Analysts said the free messenger service is expected to reach another milestone of 450 million download hits worldwide by 2015 in a sign of its global expansion

Since the initial launch, the company has expanded the service to roughly 230 countries in 14 languages, including Chinese, Spanish and Indonesian. The messenger service is distributed by its affiliate Naver Japan.

The company attributed the growth to an increase in users in the Middle East and Asia following the inclusion of free voice calling and emoticon features in late 2011.

Also, users in Brazil, Mexico and other Latin American nations are on the rise, the company said.

NHN vowed to ramp up its overseas expansion by bolstering marketing in China, Europe and the United States. It also plans to add more platform features to the service by teaming up with various content providers.

Currently, 90 percent of LINE users are based overseas, with Japan, Thailand and Taiwan noted as its three biggest markets.

By nation, Japanese subscribers to the messenger service reached some 50 million, followed by Thailand with 20 million, Taiwan with 17 million and Spain with 15 million, according to Naver.

sam@yna.co.kr
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