Every month, 181 million people chatter away on their much-loved LINE app. Only they’re not just babbling about how dehydrated there are, whether they need another cappuccino or have a craving for yakisoba, they are getting their groceries delivered at the same time. As long as it’s just bottled water, coffee and instant noodles they need, currently at least. (THX Tim.)
Like it’s top competitor, WeChat, LINE is fast evolving into a sprawling platform that’s generating revenue without irritating users with endless ads, à la Facebook. This new initiative will add to the tidy £338 million sum its already chalked up in 2013 from selling games, sponsored content and digital stickers.
LINE’s ‘Cheap Sure Sure’ service will offer simple groceries with tempting discounts and free delivery. For now, only Thai chat tappers can take advantage of this service, but given that’s where the biggest chunk of its users are concentrated, it’s bound to deliver the goods, profit-wise.