With LINE CONVERGE 2020 being held via streaming on July 13, LINE Taiwan’s annual press event was unconventional this year, but its announcements were some of the most extensive and exciting yet. New services, new partnerships, new content and more were all part of the big day, and LINE Taiwan looks ahead to the “new normal” of a post-Covid-19 world.
Even though Taiwan has been one of the biggest success stories in Asia for dealing with Covid-19, the pandemic is continuing to shape life and LINE there. For LINE Taiwan in general, that has involved changing their approach to business to better help with the company mission of “Closing the Distance” and connecting people.
For LINE CONVERGE 2020, that meant turning the event into a combination of online streaming and offline interviews. LINE CONVERGE 2020 also saw LINE showcasing services in six major industries in Taiwan: communication, entertainment and content, digital marketing solutions, e-commerce, fintech, and OMO (Online Merges with Offline).
"LINE Taiwan recognizes the strong influence our online platform can have on people, and we’re committed to helping society adjust to ‘the new normal’,” said LINE Taiwan managing director Roger Chen. “Through being a positive influence and focusing on user needs, we’re able to engage people on social, service and industry levels, collaborating with industry partners to create ever more beneficial synergies."
LINE CONVERGE 2020, streamed online for the first time, presented 15 major announcements for the year
LINE offers services across communication, entertainment and content, digital marketing, e-commerce, Fintech, and OMO in Taiwan
LINE Accountability: Exerting a positive influence and promoting media literacy through education
During the press conference, LINE kicked off a three-year collaboration with Junyi Academy and announced the Junyi Official Account. Through this partnership, the first series of online courses targeting "the ethics of media science" will be launched to help students develop critical thinking toward information and contents. The partnership between Junyi and LINE brings technology into education, opening a "smart portal" that classroom teachers may access to transition into digital teaching.
[Line App] "Home tab" and "Wallet tab" renewed
Both the Home tab and Wallet tab for the LINE App will be renewed in the second half of July. As the gateway into the LINE ecosystem, a "Friend's birthday" reminder will be added to Home tab, allowing users to send greeting cards or gifts in a timely fashion. Users will also be able to "pin" their frequently used LINE services here, and a "Recommended" section will be added to refer users to content of interest, using AI technology. On the other hand, "Wallet tab" will focus mainly on offering information and services that are relevant to mobile payment and shopping; it is intended to serve as the all-in-one e-wallet that gives users access to mobile payments, shopping information and new services made possible by Fintech all on a smartphone.
[LINE MUSIC] Proprietary vocal off and OCR to bring out the singer inside us
LINE MUSIC will be welcoming two major features in August: the new Image recognition function, powered by OCR technology, allows users to upload a screen capture or photo of a song list or album cover and have a playlist of matching titles created for them. In addition, "Vocal off," will be launching simultaneously for the first time in Taiwan and Japan, which enables users to remove vocals simply by selecting the option to show lyrics and tapping on the Microphone icon at the bottom-left corner. These two features are especially useful for people who want to practice for a karaoke party!
[LINE Shopping] "LINE Shopping App" goes online, anticipating your shopping desires through AI
Launched in 2018, LINE Shopping has accumulated NT$30 billion of transactions to date — and the fact that NT$10 billion of those transactions came from personalized recommendations is a major sign of how much consumers value a personalized shopping experience. For this reason, a new, exclusive LINE Shopping App was launched on July 15 to use AI to bring users more intelligent and personalized features. By sourcing complete information on prices, users will have access to useful functions such as price tracking, reduction notices, store discounts and promotion alerts etc., for a more satisfying online shopping experience.
[LINE Stickers] "LINE CREATORS Shop" opens, with "Effect Stickers" creating a more exciting chatting experience
To help sticker creators achieve commercial success, a new sub-section called "LINE CREATORS shop" was opened on LINE@ Commerce, turning adorable characters such as Co-Blue.doca, Onegodethan, BugCat-Capoo, and Very Miss Rabbit into practical lifestyle products that fans can purchase! Additionally, LINE Stickers will be introducing a Charity Stickers Program in 2021, leveraging the influence of stickers to promote social welfare.
Meanwhile, a whole new feature called "Effect Stickers" was launched on July 15, giving users the ability to express emotions more precisely than words can, enchanting chat rooms for a more immersive communication experience.
[LINE Official Account]
Following the redesign of Official Account in the beginning of the year, LINE disclosed for the first time its post-redesign results at LINE CONVERGE 2020 — and the results were strong, with an 18% yearly increase in the number of Official Accounts to 1.59 million and a 55% increase in API messages by the end of June. The new OA system allows messages to be sent to relevant users, a feature that an increasing number of brands have taken advantage of for targeted marketing, and the precise delivery of marketing materials to their intended audience resulted in a 3.8-fold increase in user response.
To facilitate even more precise marketing, LINE introduced two new features: "OA+" and the connecting of "LINE TAG" to the OA system. Both of these integrate resources across different LINE platforms toward tracking the online behaviors of tagged users, which in return allows more refined targeted marketing and makes LINE the preferred marketing solution for consumers.
[TIMELINE] Creator Revenue makes a mutually beneficial ecosystem for content creators
The “LINE TIMELINE Big Creator" program was introduced in the first half of this year, and so far more than 200 creators have joined to create personal OAs and to provide interesting contents on TIMELINE. With the launch of a new business model called "Creator Monetization" in the second half of the year, LINE hopes to create a mutually beneficial ecosystem that shares revenues with content creators and helps them reach a larger audience.