Digital Advertising in Japan

Why is LINE the Most Popular Social Media Platform?

LINE stands as the top messenger and social media platform in Japan, boasting a staggering user base of over 95 million individuals.

This achievement can be attributed to various factors, with its distinctive animated stickers and a wide range of integrated services playing a pivotal role.

In contrast to WhatsApp, its Western equivalent, LINE emerges as a super app offering valuable advertising opportunities to businesses looking to market their products or services effectively in the Japanese market.

What Contributes to LINE's Widespread Popularity?

LINE has garnered immense popularity not just in Japan but also in other regions such as Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia, boasting a global user base of over 176 million monthly active users.

While it's now recognized as a super app, LINE's origins are rather unique. Did you know that it began as a disaster response application during the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami?

This initiative was undertaken by its parent company, the Korean search engine giant Naver, who created a communication system to connect their Japanese staff during the crisis. The outcome was an app that utilized internet-based connections instead of the conventional telecommunications infrastructure, which had been severely affected by the earthquake. Subsequently, LINE was made available to the public later that year, and within just 18 months, it had already amassed more than 100 million users.

Here are the Demographic Details of LINE App Users in Japan:

1. Age Distribution: LINE users are evenly distributed across all age groups.
2. Gender Distribution: Slightly more women than men use LINE.
3. Age Group with Highest Usage: People in their 50s are the most active LINE users.
4. Occupation: Nearly half of the users are company employees.

These statistics highlight a broad and diverse user base, with representation from various age groups, a slight gender preference toward women, and a significant presence of working professionals, particularly in their 50s.

In addition to the mentioned demographics, LINE's research also indicates a growing trend among smartphone users who exclusively access the internet through their mobile devices. This underlines the increasing importance of mobile platforms for online activities and reinforces LINE's significance in reaching this expanding segment of users.

Source: Marcomill

Furthermore, when assessing smartphone services, a significant 39.6% of the surveyed smartphone users exclusively utilize LINE. This statistic underscores LINE's strong presence and user loyalty within the smartphone app landscape.

Source: Marcomill

Given the demographic insights and the data regarding smartphone usage in Japan, targeting the Japanese audience through LINE emerges as an excellent strategy to connect with users who may not typically be accessible through platforms like Google or Yahoo! JAPAN. LINE's broad user base, diverse age distribution, and the increasing reliance on smartphones for internet access make it a valuable channel for reaching a wide range of Japanese consumers, especially those who may not be as active on traditional search engines.

Using LINE for Business

Leveraging LINE for business in Japan offers numerous opportunities to connect with smartphone users. There are primarily two main ways in which businesses can utilize LINE for their operations:

1. LINE Official Account: Businesses can create and manage LINE Official Accounts. These accounts function as a direct communication channel with customers, allowing companies to provide updates, customer support, and engage with their audience. Businesses can also employ features like LINE@ for promotional campaigns and announcements.
2. LINE Advertising: LINE offers advertising options that enable businesses to reach their target audience through various ad formats, including banners, sponsored stickers, and more. This provides an effective means of promoting products or services and reaching a wider user base.

These two approaches provide businesses with the means to establish a strong online presence, foster customer engagement, and effectively market their offerings to the diverse LINE user base in Japan.

Promote Your Brand on LINE

At Hibiscus, we specialize in offering comprehensive business account management services for LINE Official Accounts and LINE Ads.

If you're keen on promoting your business effectively on LINE, don't hesitate to get in touch with our team of Japanese PPC experts. They can provide you with further information and guidance on how to maximize your brand's presence and success on this popular platform.

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