Version Reviewed: 5.1.2
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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Not content with just being a messaging service, or just being a social networking app, or even just being a voice/video calling app, LINE combines all those ideas. Some of it will come at a price, but even as a free app it offers some handy advantages.
At its simplest and most obvious, LINE works a lot like WhatsApp Using your phone number or Facebook details, you can add contacts and chat to them quickly and easily. This can be done via text for free, or by calling them with a small fee applicable for international calls. Where LINE gets a bit more interesting is when it comes to interacting elsewhere.
You can choose to ‘follow’ official accounts for various products and fandoms, such as Coca-Cola, Maroon 5, and even news sources such as the Wall Street Journal. There you can enjoy regular information about the product or service, as well as interact and learn more about something that particularly appeals to you. In the case of the Wall Street Journal, for instance, you can chat to the account, asking for more information on something.
LINE offers other social networking style features with its Timeline. That provides updates for the people you’re following, as well as gives you a place to post updates and photos. Stickers play a prominent role here too, with plenty of cute and fun ones to choose from. You can create groups too, potentially enabling you to create quite the community for a chosen subject.
In many ways, this makes LINE the swiss army knife of social networking and messaging apps. Offering a little bit of everything, it all works pretty well. Of course in each case there’s an app that already has a big market share, such as Facebook and WhatsApp, but if you’re keen to try something different it’s hard to fault LINE.