Line’s instant messaging software aims to take on local leader Viber

Instant messaging service Line aims to give Viber a run for its money after launching in Myanmar on March 24.

The service is available on iOS and Android, and aims to woo users partly through its in-app innovations such as group chat and a range of emojis, or small graphics that can be interspersed in text conversations.

“People can send their emotions to other people or to friends with endearing stickers,” said Line Myanmar general manager Dae Yun Hwang.

Line is far from the only application taking aim at the local instant messaging business.

MySQUAR, a Yangon-based social media platform, offers a service called MyChat it touts as being fully available in Myanmar and English languages. The firm also plans to raise US$2.5 million on London’s AIM exchange, aiming for a valuation of $25 million, according to a report this week by Financial Times.

The messaging services are up against Viber, a messaging service with roots in Japan. Viber’s messaging is a free-to-use service, though its VoIP service to offline phones requires a fee.

Ma Shwe Yee is a Viber devotee, saying it enjoys significant popularity among her friends.

The service’s strong points include working well with poor internet connects, as well as being easy to use and offering a range of stickers and emojis.

Line likewise offers free messaging and VoIP calls to other users when connected to the internet, though users say it may take some time to build up awareness.

“I think Myanmar people aren’t familiar with Line yet,” said potential user Ko Kyaw Win Aung. “Line should try to make sure the service is popular.”

Line claims 230 million users from most countries around the world, with particularly strong adherence in Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan and Spain, the company said.

Celebrity Ma Phyu Phyu Kyaw Thein, a promoter of the brand, said Line can also be used with weak internet connections and is easy to figure out.

Source: Myanmar Times

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