Messaging app LINE has launched a group calling app called Popcorn Buzz, that lets up to 200 people converse simultaneously, reports TechFirstpost. The app is currently available on Android for free, with an iPhone app still in the works. Popcorn Buzz calls can be made over Wi-Fi, 3G, and 4G networks.
After initiating a call – it can be shared with LINE and non-LINE users by a URL. Existing users can sync up their LINE contacts within Popcorn Buzz.
Popcorn Buzz shows the small green circles light up over the profile pictures of people who talks, and the profile pictures of invited people who have not yet joined will be grayed out.
In 2013, Japanese-based LINE targeted India with its attracting features like stickers and emoticons of around 5,000. With data users increasing and SMS declining, there’s going to be a land-grab of users in India over the next few months that messaging apps would not like to lose out on.
LINE had acquired, in 2014, Microsoft’s MixRadio music streaming service for an undisclosed amount.
Other developments at LINE:
- It released a limited edition of NBA stickers; include basketball players LeBron James and Steph Curry in all sorts of gestures.
- LINE had also announced, in 2014, the launch of its own subscription-based music streaming service LINE MUSIC, in partnership with record label companies Avex Digital and Sony Music Entertainment.
- It announced, in 2014, to extend its mobile payment service LINE Pay globally.
- LINE Pay, in 2014, allowed users to link their debit or credit card, or add money from the account of an associated bank to their LINE account and make purchases at both online and physical stores that support the service.
- Japan-based instant communication firm also extended its mobile gaming apps to India in Oct.14.
- Another game Puzzle TanTan that lets users compete with their friends and players around the world in real-time.
- It also, in support to victims of Nepal earthquake, released a new set of stickers in order to provide financial aid to the victims.
- LINE bubble 2 was released with over 1.41 million pre-registrations sign-ups in Japan, Thailand, Taiwan, and Indonesia.
- LINE had also introduced, in 2013, a new service called LINE free coins on Android last month, through which the company was incentivizing users to download specific games in return for virtual coins.
- It launches, in March this year, LINE for desktop users. It also enhanced group features, sharing screenshots and its iconic sticker features, too.
Vies in voice calling services
By unveiling this app, LINE’s rivals, such as Whatsapp, Viber, Facbook Messenger, WeChat and ChatOn, have pushed its competitors to contemplate on their voice services. However, LINE claims this app can replace business-grade conference call services.
LINE’s biggest rival Whatsapp rolled out voice calling in March this year, to both Android and iOS users. Whatsapp claimed that it has over 800 million monthly active users. The mobile messaging company planned to have visible through efforts like: desktop support, voice calling on Android, Facebook send on WhatsApp feature, Google Drive backup (in the offing) and TextSecure encryption among others. Surprisingly, on the other hand LINE has 250 million users across the world, reports Forbes.