The Japanese app Line will introduce a special concierge service based on artificial intelligence, quite similar to M from Facebook’s Messenger. The new feature is set to use artificial intelligence processes in order to adapt chat bots to the needs of the users.
However, if the interaction becomes too complex for the bot to handle, the user will be redirected to a human employee who can complete the transaction. The announcement was made after the company has informed us of its pilot studies opened to ten thousand developers.
It is only natural for Line to wish to get in line with competitors like WeChat and Facebook. The Japanese chat application is owned by Naver and has been testing bots for quite some time now. The company also pursues the broadening of the scope of tasks its users can do, apart from the current chat, B2C communication, booking appointments and hailing cabs.
Line is at a disadvantage when compared to Messenger from Facebook, which can leverage the huge social network to both collect user data and share it with advertisers. This is where Line hopes to put its bots to good use, by drawing in more advertisers and users.
Until now, the Japanese chat app is the proud owner of a business revolving around the sale of advertising and stickers, among other services. Only last year the company has seen an increase of its annual revenue with forty percent from 2014, thus reaching the nice sum of $1.1 billion.
Unfortunately, its limited user base is sure to hinder its expansion on a global level. Extremely popular in Japan, the app was not able to spread beyond its market. At the moment, two-thirds of the total number of 215 million users of Line live in Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, and Taiwan. It will be difficult to surpass the likes of WeChat, which houses seven hundred million monthly active users, or the king Facebook Messenger with its nine hundred million.
What Line has to keep in mind is to constantly adapt to the needs of the users and be innovative. Messaging apps are more than just chats now since we can also share pictures, videos or even book planes, hotels and make various transactions. Soon, all specialized apps will broaden their scope to attract more users.
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