Line is The Wall Street Journal’s fastest-growing platform
Messaging app Line has been having a growth spurt.
Carla Zanoni, executive emerging media editor at The Wall Street Journal, claims it has been the Journal’s fastest-growing social channel, reaching over 2 million followers since it launched on the Japanese app 15 months ago. “I’m not seeing that kind of growth anywhere else, period,” she told Digiday.
Last year, Line overtook Snapchat as the fastest-growing global social media app, growing by 59 percent to Snapchat’s 45, according to Global Web Index. It has had 215 million downloads, 212 million of which use it every month. (Evan Spiegel, Snapchat’s co-founder and CEO, last reported 100 million daily users.) Line has also done a grand job in monetizing itself — App Annie ranks it the No. 1 company in terms of revenue from iOS and Google Play outside gaming, largely off of sticker sales.
Publishers like The Economist, BBC and Mashable have all added Line to their social media arsenal, although WSJ is leading the pack in terms of numbers and longevity. For those keen to tap a younger Asian market, it’s the place to be: 60 percent of its user base are in Japan, Indonesia, Thailand and Taiwan.
More important than big numbers are engagement rates, and Zanoni claims that around 30 percent of its followers are commenting, liking or sharing the Wall Street Journal’s Line posts.
“Conversion rates will be a lot higher than in more traditional messaging channels,” said Rafe Blandford, mobile strategist at DigitasLBi. “It’s like the early days of Facebook. In time, they will go down, but now there is an element of first-mover advantage.”
Western companies on Line with a fail-fast-and-fail-early approach can apply what they learn to bigger platforms. Facebook is doubling down on its Messenger platform this year as companies from Uber to hotel chain Hyatt create service-based ecosystems there.
But for now, Asia’s mature messaging platform market is unmatched, in part because technology has developed in a more mobile-first way. “In Europe and North America, desktops remain much more important to online commerce and services, and digital consumers remain more wed to their computers,” said Felim McGrath, senior trends analyst at Global Web Index.
With fully functioning service platforms, the scope for personalization is broad — there’s rich meta data on location, travel, individual bank details, and historical threads remain intact.
“It’s also the most personal and authentic relationship with you friends,” said James Kirkham, co-founder of social media agency Holler. “Keywords or emojis can trigger rewards. If you’re talking about food with your friends and a restaurant offers you the best seat in the house because it knows where you are, that won’t be too intrusive if the value is right.”
Undaunted by few analytics
As with many new platforms, the lack of analytics poses a challenge. The Journal can’t, for instance, see how many of its Line followers are already subscribers. The challenge with dark social is tracking referrals, and publishers are constantly trying to find more accurate ways to gauge reach.
Using analytics from Omniture, for example, Zanoni can gauge how well the posts from Line are performing by benchmarking the number of pageviews they get against an average from articles that aren’t on Line. It’s far from concrete, but she claims they get hundreds of thousands of pageviews.
Not being able to measure the traffic does not mean that the traffic is worthless, though. “It’s the biggest thing in 2016 for people to understand. The influence from Line is important,” said Holler’s Kirkham. “The people succeeding are the ones who will make the noise first.”
Cheat Sheet: At IAB Podcast Upfront, diverse voices take center stage while podcast advertising revenue and audiences boom
Most of the companies that presented at the IAB Podcast Upfront signaled they had or were going to add more diversity to their programming, both in hosts and content.
Member ExclusiveMedia Briefing: What media companies’ latest earnings reports say about the state of the industry
Media companies' Q1 earnings reports signaled a continued return to business as usual — for better or worse, depending on the company's digital business.
‘Brands tend to be selective’: OMG report offers options to media buyers facing upfront inventory crunch
With a tight upfront TV marketplace expected, one agency group is recommending alternatives in video and CTV.
SponsoredHow The Company Store is reimagining customer experiences for pandemic-era growth
Throughout the pandemic, some retail categories have been inherently successful. Home furnishings and décor are among them; with consumers spending so much more time at home, updates and renovations flourished. Criteo data from the first half of 2020 showed sales for items like outdoor furniture sets up 434% year over year, with other home items […]
‘You’re fixing a number, not changing the culture’: Confessions of a media exec on diversity quotas
In the rush to improve diversity rates, businesses are in danger of overlooking more fundamental ways to sustain inclusivity in the workplace, according to our latest Confessions interviewee.
‘Direct revenue driver’: How local broadcaster News 12 is partnering with Google to build a younger audience
Local broadcaster used support and funding from Google News Initiative to build a new tool that can automatically identify and feed video content into new website verticals.