● Set a different profile in every chat room
● Chat and share information with other users with common interests
TOKYO – August 19, 2019 – LINE Corporation ("LINE") is proud to announce the launch of OpenChat, the new enhanced group functionality for the LINE messaging app (https://line.me/en/). The gradual release began this morning and was fully completed at 3:00 pm today (GMT+9).
*To use OpenChat, please update LINE to at least 9.12.0 on an iOS device or 9.13.0 on an Android device.
[Explainer video in Japanese] OpenChat comes to LINE! https://youtu.be/u6XUgZqSYzo
Since launching on June 23, 2011, LINE has grown to become a massively popular messaging service with more than 81 million monthly active users (MAU)*1 in Japan. While LINE's core value has always been enabling communication among family members, friends, and other close relationships, the company is also keenly aware of its expanding and diversifying user relations and use cases at the same time. OpenChat is a group functionality enabling users to have group chats and share information with other users with similar hobbies, interests, and lifestyles. The company’s latest decision to release this functionality is in response to the aforementioned shift in user needs after carefully deliberating on how to improve LINE's usability and convenience in more situations.
*1：Users who use LINE at least once a month.
OpenChat enables users to communicate easily and conveniently in a wide range of scenarios in the following five ways.
1. Set a different profile for every chat room
OpenChat enables users to set a different nickname and profile image for every chat group they join. This is perfect for users who want to join a group chat using a different profile from their LINE account, or chat with other users about common interests and lifestyles without friending them. Editing and updating OpenChat profiles will not affect a user's LINE profile.
2. Designate group administrators
Based on demand for a capability to properly operate and manage large group chats, OpenChat gives users administrative privileges for OpenChat groups they create. This allows users to be responsible for maintaining order and peace within their own groups, such as by using an anti-spam bot to register and filter out prohibited words. Administrators can also designate up to 100 co-administrators.
3. Join or be invited to a group in one of three ways
Administrators can choose how users join their group depending on the group’s nature and purpose—by open invitation, based on the administrator's approval, or by entering an invitation code. Administrators can change this setting at any time.
4. Retrace a group's chat history
OpenChat lets users see a limited chat history of new groups they join so that they can trace conversations that took place before they joined the group. (Chat history is available for approximately 180 days for messages and 30 days for images.) The purpose of this feature is to help new members gather information from the chat history and gain a feel of the group so that they can integrate themselves more smoothly.
5. Groups can contain up to 5,000 users
For greater flexibility, OpenChat allows up to 5,000 users to join a group. This is 10 times more than the maximum number of users who can join a normal LINE group chat.
For more information on how to use OpenChat, please visit the official blog ( http://openchat-blog.line.me/ ) or watch the Youtube video that gives step-by-step instructions on how to start using LINE OpenChat ( https://youtu.be/suTfLbST1f4 ). Both references are only available in Japanese.
■When to use OpenChat
OpenChat opens doors to an extensive array of new opportunities and ways to use LINE. OpenChat is the ideal functionality to use when users want to chat passionately and exchange information with other users on common interests, create chat groups comprised of colleagues, alumni, parents and guardians, and other impersonal relationships, build internet communities and other members-only groups, or create contact groups for ongoing events. However, LINE users are often the ones who come up with the most innovative ways to use LINE's new functionalities. Users are encouraged to come up with creative ways to use OpenChat to meet various daily needs.
OpenChat plans to integrate and collaborate with the following services. More collaborations are expected to take place in the future.
OpenChat meets LINE NEWS
OpenChat will integrate with LINE NEWS to enable users to engage with other sports fans during sports events, starting with the Japanese national football team's international matches scheduled in September. On game days, users can tap a special banner in OpenChat to visit the chat room.
About LINE NEWS: LINE NEWS is a next-generation newsfeed service designed for the smartphone era. It has 65 million monthly active users,* and recorded over 10 billion monthly page views at the end of May 2019. With over 900 media partners, LINE NEWS is one of Japan's largest content platforms delivering over 7,000 pieces of content to 65 million users every day in a personalized format so that every user sees a customized front page based on their interests and preferences. *As of April 2019.
OpenChat meets Knives Out battle royale game
OpenChat plans to collaborate with Knives Out, the popular battle royale game that has over 300 million players worldwide. The integration is scheduled to take place before the end of the year. Once integration is completed, users will be able to create chat groups with teammates by tapping a button that will appear in the screen showing their squad. The seamless connection between Knives Out and OpenChat will allow users to easily create chat groups and enjoy chatting with their teammates. The chat groups will synchronize with LINE so that players can continue to chat with their teammates outside of the game. Knives Out is the first of a series of games that plans to integrate OpenChat as an optimized game functionality of the LINE GAME platform.
About Knives Out: Developed and operated by NetEast Games, Knives Out is a battle royale game in which 100 players battle it out on a deserted island. The game offers a variety of modes including fighting in teams of two, four, or five on a large-scale map. Players can also fight alongside their friends. Since launching in November 2017, the game has gained a massive audience and has more than 250 million players worldwide today.
Because OpenChat enables free and diverse communication, the functionality is designed to ensure a safe and pleasant user experience. For instance, it comes with a button to report unwanted activity, and certain functionalities are restricted for users under 18 or those who have not completed age verification. As an additional countermeasure to ensure safe and secure communication for users, chat content is monitored upon consent that users give when they join OpenChat.*2
*2: Users only consent to the monitoring of chat content within OpenChat. LINE does not monitor any other chat content.
For more information on the safety and security of OpenChat, please visit
・the official blog (http://openchat-blog.line.me/archives/1735046.html (Japanese))
・How to verify your age (http://openchat-blog.line.me/archives/cat_36815.html#no2 (Japanese))
OpenChat will not affect accounts or information handling of the LINE messaging app. While LINE continues to honor its core value and enable communication among family, friends, and other close relationships, it will optimize communication for every user and provide new ways for users to acquire information to enhance its presence in users' lives.
Since the beginning of August, OpenChat has been available to a limited number of users, including volunteers. These users have created over 1,500 chat rooms since, and are bringing about a change in the way LINE is used.
OpenChat groups are created based on hobbies and other diverse topics.
Notes is the second most actively used feature of OpenChat following the chat. Notes enables users to keep a record of information. While some groups have a list of rules that administrators set out, other groups are enjoying getting its members to participate in posting photos related to different themes. Other commonly used features that are useful for large chat groups include Reply to reference a specific message in a reply, Announce to pin important messages, Mention to tag users in a message, and Poll to take a survey.
For more information on useful OpenChat features, please visit the official blog (http://openchat-blog.line.me/archives/1735001.html#no4 (Japanese))