While WhatsApp wins over the West and WeChat conquers China, messaging app LINE has taken Japan by storm. With 400 million users worldwide, and 52 million in Japan alone, LINE's bright and vibrant customisable stickers are hugely popular – but can they really replace text?
As young people flock to WhatsApp, LINE and other chat apps, Facebook struggles to stay relevant. In response, it's created better emoticons – called Stickers – that are part of a deeper shift towards pictures as a primary way to communicate.
From messaging to social media to a marketplace to browsing the internet, WeChat is the app the does everything. While Western companies and app developers race to unbundle their services into efficient single-purpose apps, WeChat continues to add feature after feature.
The explosion of interest in mobile messaging platforms has prompted heated competition to secure the largest and most loyal global user base. From LINE’s stickers to WeChat’s partnership with Lionel Messi, there’s a race to innovate, and fast.
From the viral popularity of 'kaomojis' like ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ or the fact that messaging app LINE made $17 million from stickers in the first quarter of 2013 alone, people have grown accustomed to depicting their emotions with images. But what if you could use your own face to do it?