LINE: number of monthly active users in Japan 2013-2019

Messaging app Line is Japan’s most popular online communication tool, peaking at approximately 82 million monthly actives users in Japan during the third quarter of 2019. Line’s main target group are young adults aged 15 to 34 years, representing more than 50 percent of the company’s Japanese user base in 2018.

The rise of Line in Japan

The success story of messaging service Line, a Japanese subsidiary of South Korean internet powerhouse Naver, started back in 2011 during the Great East Japan Earthquake. While most conventional communication channels had broken down due to power failures, official sources turned to online options for communicating news and confirming the safety of the country’s residents. The app was released for public use later that year, appealing greatly to Japanese consumers due to its unique and customizable design, allowing both private and business usage simultaneously. Line’s annual revenue rose from under seven billion Japanese yen in fiscal year 2012 to over 207 billion yen in fiscal year 2018, emphasizing the company’s major success since its first launch less than ten years earlier.

Social media usage in Japan

Compared to its neighboring countries, the Japanese market has a relatively low social network penetration rate of only 61 percent, being noticeably outpaced by Taiwan with 89 percent and South Korea with 85 percent audience reach. While globally leading networks do get their fair share of popularity within the Japanese social media market, in 2018, Line almost doubled the audience reach of internationally successful apps such as Twitter or Instagram.

Number of monthly active LINE users in Japan as of 3rd quarter 2019

Number of monthly users in millions
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Release date

October 2019



Survey time period

1st quarter 2013 to 3rd quarter 2019

Supplementary notes

Data prior to Q3 2019 comes from previous reporting.

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