Technology with attitude

LINE vs. Snapchat – How Do Messaging Apps Make Money?

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In the past few months, Snapchat and Kik have been at it for new product updates as well as advertising solutions for their millions of users.

These changes have seen the valuation of these apps bulge, with Snapchat recently receiving a valuation similar to that of WhatsApp – a whopping $19 billion.

So what’s the reason behind this?

These two apps have been very successful at introducing ways of monetizing their services without leaving the users feeling alienated.

With the uproar that met Snapchat’s asking price of $750,000 per day for advertising, numerous brands have started flocking into the app’s offices thanks to the many opportunities the app offers them. Brands are looking at the more than 60 million young people who actively use Snapchat in the U.S. alone as a huge potential market for their businesses to boom.

Snapchat is only but taking baby steps

Mobile messaging apps have become one of the most intimate and engaged opportunities that businesses are looking for when it comes to advertising their brands in the present day. This is especially true when you look at a bunch of Asian apps such as WeChat, KakaoTalk, and LINE. These apps have been offering brand solutions for quite some time now and as a result, they have come up with impressive ecosystems that amazingly integrate various brands into conversations, communities as well as commerce.

However, the advertising solutions you get with LINE are not similar to what is in line at Snapchat. In this regard, here is a closer look at these two apps, LINE vs. Snapchat with respect to user experience as well as theformat of advertisements.

LINE Messenger

LINE is well established in Asia, especially in Thailand, Japan, and Taiwan. The app boasts more users in this region than Facebook does thank the fact that it has beautifully embedded itself into the Asian culture by coming up with LINE characters. There is even more to this app when it comes to the user experience thanks to the sticker collection that comes in handy when expressing different emotions.

Stickers are no longer a Japan-based feature; instead, millions around the world embrace this feature when it comes to messaging apps. Different brands pay LINE just to put their stickers in the app’s sticker store so that users can access them from here. However, what interests these brands even more is the fact that they can still communicate with users who download their stickers. There are even other integrated products that users can access via LINE, for instance, taxi and food ordering as well as music streaming services. In short, stickers are only but a part of LINE’s revenue sources.

Snapchat

Snapchat comes to the scene as a very different application. Popularly known for its feature that lets messages disappear after reading them, Snapchat is the best when it comes to expressing feeling at that very moment without any fears that the video or photo will be found by someone else in the cloud. There is even more room for expressing your creativity using text, sketches as well as filters that can be included to make the snaps more personal before sharing them with friends. There is the option of sharing them with individual friends where they disappear after a while, or share them with all friends and followers for a single day (24 hours).

A few months ago, two cents, a new advertising product by Snapchat, was launched. This product can be found on the Discover platform of the app. Under the “discover” portal, you will find a curated collection of content from major media sources such as Daily Mail and Buzzfeed. You can also access this “discover” channels via the ‘Stories’ section of the messenger. This is the area where brands, bloggers, and many other interested persons broadcast their content.

The two ‘discover’ and ‘stories’ sections can be used to home 10-second advertisements. However, there is a wider reach when using the ‘stories’ area than the ‘discover’ section, but the former is more expensive and intrusive than the latter.

With the 10-second video ads of Snapchat, there are a totally different viewing experience thanks to the 100% viewability that comes in the form of vertical video formats that occupy the entire screen, have been optimized for mobile view and have sound. Snapchat already boasts more than 2 billion vertical views per day and in no time, this American trend will find its way into Asia with apps like LINE and WeChat being touted to join the bandwagon.