Online messaging isn’t a new thing, and for the majority of people under the age of 25, WhatsApp and other alternatives are the main way that they keep in touch with friends and family. In the Far East however, LINE is the WhatsApp equivalent for many users looking to connect with people online. In South Korea and Japan in particular, the app has grown a cult following of sorts and has become a household name for sure. Now, the service is being updated with group calling, allowing 200 different people to be connected to the same voice call.
Not to be confused with video-calling, this new feature is launching with LINE version 5.1.1 where Android and iOS are concerned, as well as the Windows version 4.5. This is still a free feature, as is pretty much anything else in LINE and the large calls can be started from either a large group chat or by adding groups or other singular contacts to a call. It does make us wonder why there’s a need for this many people to be included in a voice call, but we’re sure there must be a reason why someone might need such a feature. Regardless, this is a decent addition to the already-existing laundry list of features that LINE has to offer, especially when compared to the likes of WhatsApp and Telegram, two of the app’s biggest competitors.
This new feature will be rolling out first to users in Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and Indonesia and will roll out to other regions a little later in the year. LINE must be confident in the feature however, as those four markets are the firm’s biggest, so bringing on the other markets all over the world shouldn’t take much time. Having started in 2011, LINE has become a cult favorite and for a lot of people the only way they make contact with people. Engaging characters, merchandise in the form of stickers and more has only gone to the help the popularity of the product, especially in markets like Japan and South Korea, where building a brand is very important.