Japanese chat app LINE is continuing to expand into other countries, as well as its own, by signing partnership contracts with major European football clubs. Today it announced an exclusive partnership with Spanish teams FC Barcelona and Real Madrid; it will now serve as the sole chat service to provide updates on team news.
To get news from the teams, all you must do is add them as a friend and periodic updates should stream in like a normal chat with other friends.
LINE has grown exponentially throughout Japan ever since it first launched in 2011. Earlier this summer it reached 200 million users, more than the population of Japan itself, and has taken a hold of other Asian countries such as Taiwan and the Philippines. Its success can be attributed to its cute mascots, fun game service and the ever addictive hunt for more stickers to use in chat rooms.
The addition of European football teams should prove useful in its spread into Europe. It will also help LINE gain notoriety at home, where soccer is quickly becoming the most popular sport for school children to pick up. Look out baseball! Your time is up!
LINE has yet to make a true dent in the Americas, and barely any of my friends back in the States have ever even heard of it. However, it is the only chat app I use these days when keeping in touch with my friends around Japan.