line emojis stickers messaging app japan

Characters used as large-sized emojis or ‘stickers’ in the LINE app. Source: Facebook/LINE Global

Japan: Messaging app LINE working on rival for Slack amid growth slowdown

IN an effort to get a foot in the door of the growing social enterprise technology market, Japan’s LINE Corp. has announced that it is working on a workplace messaging app just like Slack, which will be available in Japan next year.

LINE, based in Tokyo, has signed a partnership with Works Mobile Japan to speed up the development of the yet-unnamed app. According to Venture Beat, Works Mobile recently launched a mobile app for businesses that includes messaging, address books, emails, scheduling, and file-sharing capabilities.

With 157 million monthly active users in its four major markets of Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia, LINE is one of the biggest messaging apps in the world – but growth has been slowing down recently.

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Between the second quarter of 2015 and the second quarter of 2016, the company has seen a miniscule five percent growth – especially small compared to the 25 percent growth they experienced in the 12 months prior.

In a statement, LINE said: “Through this business partnership agreement, LINE will build out from its experience in delivering communication tools for consumers and officially extend its reach into the corporate communications market.”

LINE continued to say that the collaboration with Works Mobile will result in a tool that “combines elements of both” apps.

“Through synergizing the LINE app’s ease of use and the Works Mobile app’s exceptional functionality for businesses, LINE hopes to propose a whole new way for companies to fulfill their communication needs.”

The market for social enterprise technology has widened since employers began realizing the benefits of social media in building relationships among people. Recently, Facebook released Workplace, a collaborative tool aimed at companies to stop the negative perception around using the social network while at work.

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