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‘Life on LINE’

Popular app will cater for your every waking moment

Thailand’s most popular communication app, LINE, wants its users to perform all of their daily activities through the application from the moment they wake until bedtime.

With almost 40-million active users in Thailand, the company announced its goal of serving as an infrastructure for people’s everyday lives last year. Its aim was to help them to use technology to live more efficiently and more comfortably, in turn freeing up more time for them to do what they like.

According to LINE Thailand’s Chief Executive, Dr Pichet Rerkpreecha, the COVID-19 pandemic has made that vision become reality.

He told The Story Thailand that people are now relying more on the Internet, and LINE has numerous features that offer solutions to their everyday needs – whether it involves communication, news and information, entertainment content or food delivery.

The lockdowns have brought “forced migration,” prompting people to change their behaviour. For example, they need to have remote meetings; many order their food and buy goods online. The volume of online shopping has doubled, and an increasing number of people are turning to the Internet for information.

“It’s clear that people come to the LINE platform because they want accurate content and information, as well as services that are delivered to their homes,” Pichet said.

Addressing users’ problems with LINE tools

To ensure that people can access accurate news and information, LINE has a new section that offers updates about COVID-19.

LINE also has a new feature for remote meetings through video calls, with a “share screen” option and the capacity to cope with an increased number of users.

It also has a MyShop service, for vendors to promote their products. This is helpful for those vendors who have been unable to do business as usual at their brick-and-mortar shops. At present, almost four million small- and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) operate in MyShop, with LINE Official Account (OA) status.

Also, LINE MAN is available for food shops to register for fast delivery of their products.
“We provide solutions and develop new features to better suit the different jobs,” Phichet said.

Social commerce offers opportunities for Thais

The LINE Chief Executive said he saw a good chance for growth of social commerce in Thailand, due mainly to the unique creativity of Thai vendors. The LINE platform makes it easier for vendors and buyers to get together. LINE will continue to invest so that social commerce grows, but assistance from the government or relevant agencies would help to bring even faster growth, he said.

In the future, it is highly likely that vendors will sell many products at the same time. Social commerce makes that possible because there is no need for inventories of stock.

Moreover, vendors can build networks with other vendors to cut their costs, while collaboration with shopping malls will bring tenant shops to the online platform.

“Old and new vendors will come to the social-commerce market. That will mean more choices for consumers, who will have many more products with which to compare prices,” he said.

LINE offers an option for payment with Rabbit LINE Pay, but vendors are not obliged to use this service. They can choose from a large variety of payment methods.

LINE is also developing additional features for customers using the OA service. For a low cost, accounts may be managed for just one person. “Bot” automated programs can be used to answer customers’ frequently asked questions, so there is no need for vendors to be available at all times.

“Regarding new services for the future, we aim to get people to live their ‘Life on LINE’. The platform must address people’s issues from the moment they wake until they go to bed.

There are popular applications, as well as ones that are not so popular. Wait and see what new products we will have next,” Phichet said.

Foreign company with sizeable investment in Thailand

Based in Japan, LINE is a foreign tech firm that employs as many as 500 people in Thailand for its operation here.

Among the services it offers are LINE Chat, LINE Sticker and Line Melody, all of which are popular among Thai users. For businesses, LINE OA not only addresses the demands of large customers, but also caters to small businesses and individuals.

Due to the popularity of its dramas, LINE Thailand also plans to spend more on creating original content.

“We aim to serve as the best platform that answers to the everyday lifestyle needs of all Thais. We believe that our technologies will help to boost the growth of Thailand’s businesses and trade,” Pichet said. “Meanwhile, our investment in Thailand continues to grow. We have invested in about 70 original series and programs over the past five years on LINE TV.”



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