Line Messenger is now supported by LoginRadius
Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are the names that come to mind when someone uses the term “social-networking”. WhatsApp and Line have become colloquial for instant messaging. However, bound by the common threading of the Web, the line between social networks and instant messaging is fast blurring. All of them can now be painted with the same brush of virtual social communities. Of course, fundamental differences still exist but all of them are empowered enough to be identity providers and be used for Social Login.
Traditional social networks like Facebook, Google+, Twitter, LinkedIn or even Vkontakte have been the dominant identity providers, but the potential of instant messaging clients like Line can’t be undermined. Recognizing this, we have added support for Line identities to our Customer Identity and Access Management (cIAM) platform, meaning you can now allow your customers to login to your site or app with their Line credentials.
Line Messenger’s Revenues
So, just how big is Line to have graduated into the big league of identity providers? According to figures released by the company, Line has about 218 million active user accounts and about 600 million registered users. That’s more than the number of active accounts Google+ has. This is a significant achievement, especially considering that Line’s devout audience is mostly restricted to the Asian markets of Japan, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia. In Q2 2016, Line received revenues to the tune of USD 303 million, rising 21% year-on-year. In comparison, WhatsApp’s sole revenue source was a subscription fee of $1 per customer which it has since waived and is looking to explore other monetization mechanisms. Line, on the other hand, holds promise for its high average revenue per customer. Deloitte estimated that Line generates about 69 cents per customer which is much higher than its compatriots. But then, Line is not just a messaging service or a simple social virtual network. It is positioning itself as a platform for virtual goods, games and advertising. This is hugely significant in a market with flooding traffic but little revenue.
Line and Social Login
So, what does this have to do with identity? Don’t we have Facebook, Google, Twitter and LinkedIn already? Before we get into that, a small primer on what social login actually is; Social Login allows your customers to sign into your website using their existing social identities. For instance, Login with Facebook or Login with Twitter. This ensures your customers don’t have to remember an extra set of credentials or send in forgotten password requests. Simultaneously, it helps you acquire authentic first party data which is so, so important for businesses.
Returning to the discussion, we probably didn’t mention that Line, irrespective of operational nature, is already Japan’s largest social network. That itself is qualification enough to turn a virtual networking platform into an identity provider. Line might not yet be extremely popular as a an identity provider for social login, but numbers and qualities show that it has the potential to be a competitor to the likes of Facebook and Twitter. Well, at least in some markets, if not globally in the near term. The fact that messaging and social networking is just a basic utility of Line, works tremendously in its favour. On Line, you can make video calls, make payments, book taxis, play games and do a lot more. It’s an entire world out there. In its July IPO, Line raised about USD 1.3 billion and has announced that it intends to use the money to make acquisitions that help Line become an end-to-end monolithic application. An entire world stuffed into a simple messaging application. What that means is that as this ambitious plan rolls out, more and more Line users will be perpetually logged into the application, making it ideal as an identity provider for social login.
Line’s Potential in the World of Marketing Insights
What are the qualities an entity needs to have to become an identity provider? A huge user base? Yes, because unless your target identity provider has a lot of users, it doesn’t make sense for you to invest in providing social login through it. Line already has a user base and its mapped transformation into an indispensable app means that it brings a lot more to the table than just high volume. Through social login, you are not just providing an easier means for your customers to sign into your website or mobile application but you are also trying to tap into their social profile data. This data will help you understand your customers better, give you more insights and, of course, make life easier for both you and your customers. If the identity provider is an all-in-one smart portal like what Line aspires to be in the future, imagine the amount of insights you could get about your customers by providing social login with Line. At the end of the day, digital businesses need smart all around insights to power their marketing and grow revenue.
So, you can imagine how bludgeoning revenues of a company far away in the land of the rising sun can help you increase your revenues. Well, that’s digital business for you.