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Better than Skype? LINE takes off overseas

12 May 2012 4,844 views No Comment

naver's line has 34 million users, attracting those sick of skype's issues and tired of waiting for Apple deliver

When Microsoft closed on Skype more than a few people assumed would Redmond, sooner or later, wreck the market-leading IM, chat and VOIP app into the ground. Personally, I don’t think there was much left to ruin. Folks overseas aren’t waiting for the inevitable, though. Line has been available for about a year and experienced some issues, but has attracted 34 million users worldwide.

Skype’s user interface on the Mac is generally hated. Whereas Skype does most everything that FaceTime doesn’t, Apple’s video calling app is loved for its simplicity and high video quality.

On the iPhone and iPad, Skype is something people use because other people use. If Apple offered a fully functional VOIP, video and IM app that was ready now, users would change their habits.

Naver’s Line (free) lies somewhere between Skype delivery and Apple’s promise.

[A] fast and light messenger that provides free messaging and voice calls, LINE has been ranked no. 1 in the free app category in Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Macau, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, Israel, Switzerland and Turkey.

• Send photos as well as location info
• Use any of the 255 unique stickers and emoticons
• Enjoy free messaging
• Create or join group chat rooms with up to 100 people
• Make free voice calls

Friends overseas have raved about Line, using it instead of their carrier’s SMS service. Going off plan for text and VOIP can save money, especially when you’re communicating with people across multiple nations.

For the kids, LINE’s 100-person chat rooms are an attraction and geotagged photo functionality is nice, too.

Sick of Skype’s issues and tired of waiting for Apple to get on the ball? Then you might like Line…

What’s your take?

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