Text messaging using SMS is well and truly dead in Thailand thanks to smartphone apps such as WhatsApp that allows you to text for free. But, if you one of those guys still using WhatsApp then you need to wake up to the next big thing. WhatsApp is so yesterday. Everyone in Thailand, and I do mean everyone, is now using the free cross-platform app LINE. The app, which allows both free messages and free voice calls, is Korean but has managed to dominate not only Asia but also the world. According to a press conference today, LINE has been downloaded 82,420,620 times in 231 countries. So, where does Thailand stand with this? As we all know, Thai people are very keen on social media. It has been reported widely that Bangkok is the number one city for Facebook users. So, it is not surprising that Thailand presently has 10,221,282 LINE users making them number 3 in the world after Japan & Taiwan. But when it comes to active users, Thailand is reportedly number one in the world. In terms of devices, this breaks down as 55% on Android, 40% on iOS and 5% split between BB and Windows.
I think LINE is popular with Thai people because of the ability to use both emoji and stickers as a way to express yourself without typing. The app comes with a set of free stickers but you can also download more from various organisations. Some free, some you have to pay for. In Thailand, the most popular stickers belong to SCB Easy Net which started offering stickers since 15th November. They have had an amazing 2,473,985 downloads. Other popular brands in Thailand include CP Food, TrueMove H, Major Cineplex and even the Tourism Authority of Thailand.