Mobile, Opinions

Line App made a mockery of First-Mover Advantage

Written by Ezaaz Waseem ·  1 min read >

Time and again The AppJuice team has covered various launch-pads and judges always ask for a few things quite common.

  • What is your unique value proposition?
  • What is your segment to target?
  • Do you have any First-Mover Advantage?

Like seriously are these things a ticket to success?

Had it been the case not many players would have entered into similar domains and outsmarted the old players. However, humans have a very short memory so it is good to take a recent happening into consideration.

The Verge has reported that Chat apps surpass SMS for the first time. So 2013 might have given the first good news for many Instant Messaging (IM) platforms. The next news, however, was only good for the makers of Line app (Naver Corporation) and no one else.

“Messaging App Line Now Brings In Nearly $100M A Quarter, But No Official Word On An IPO” – TechCrunch

Line app developed back in 2011 was only popular in Japan though the company decided to go global by the mid of 2013. Following immense popularity of WhatsApp and Viber the makers of Line must have decided to go huge since the app had so many things more than these early players.


Already being two years late they entered in a market assumed to have saturated and mostly dominated by WhatsApp for messaging and picture sharing and Viber for group IMs and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol). Almost a year was taken by both the apps to get over with their bugs to have stable apps and added features meant the two had locked horns.

In Line with Line

Japanese always had an element of surprise since the days of Pearl Harbour. The way Line entered was phenomenal. It was an IM that had a social network in itself. Stickers with a choice of 15 free and 18 paid options, customized themes, changing backgrounds, recorded text (with no time limit), Line to Line VoIP and many more features. It had all in one solutions to Viber, WhatsApp and all others with some of the finest new things (which include supporting apps, in-app purchases and a photo-edit with options more than Instagram)

Coming weeks saw WhatsApp with a voice recording update and Viber with Hold to Text option only to confirm that Line has not only joined the 500 million downloads club but is now a market leader. A week back the 3rd quarter (of 2013) earnings of $100 million confirmed the news. A lot more is expected from the Japanese giants. Naver Corporation has been successful with ventures other than Line as well so new surprises are eagerly awaited.

Written by Ezaaz Waseem
An Average Joe, Certified Project Manager, Avid Adventure Tourist, Explorer, Business Graduate, Writer and Infomaniac... To sum it up Still Learning... Profile