LINE, a popular mobile messaging service, has launched an official Chrome App.
The chat client is available to install from the Chrome Web Store and works on Windows, Mac, Linux as well as Chrome OS. Although LINE is free to use sign-up can only be done through the official mobile app.
Althoug not widely used in Europe or the USA Line Corporation, the company steering the service, claim to have more than 400 million users worldwide.
The service also provides traditional desktop apps for Windows and Mac OS X but the new Chrome app signals its first foray on to Linux and Chrome OS desktops.
What Is LINE?
Not everyone will have heard of LINE — but most people have heard of other apps of its kind.
Like Viber, Telegram, Messenger, et al, LINE allows users to send messages, make video and voice calls, and share photos, voice clips and stickers with each other for free.
In a swipe at Snapchat, LINE recently introduced public “timelines”. This feature allows users to message, photos and video clips for all of their friends to see, but only for a limited time.
The service also allows for brands. TV shows and celebrities to create official accounts. These can be ‘followed’ by users who then receive timely news, photos, coupon deals, etc as messages.
In launching a platform-agnostic Chrome App LINE will broaden its appeal, both to existing users and new ones. Many rival messaging services have been slow to introduce web-ready clients. THe slow adoption gives LINE an edge as a cross-platform, readily accessible alternative.
LINE Chrome App: Features
The LINE Chrome app features one-on-one and group messaging support (including stickers) and even lets users ‘attach’ and send files.
A natty screenshot tool enables screen snippets to be quickly shared or, when used in the memo section, added to thoughts and ideas that have been jotted down.
Users can manage their contacts and friend requests using the Chrome app, as well as edit profile information or tweak basic app settings, like notifications and preferred ‘send’ keyboard behaviour.
Not all features found in the mobile versions are available through Chrome. Video and voice calling does not work, the Snapchat-esque ‘timelines’ feature is noticably absent, and certain types of messaging content (mainly videos) are cannot be displayed.
Download LINE for Chrome
The Chrome version of LINE is available on Chrome OS, Windows, Mac and Linux. Line advise users to “use the official version of Chrome to experience LINE at its best.
Although a well-made app with a clean, intuitive design and some handy features that most people might enjoy, the nature of apps like this means its true value is only going to be appreciated by those already using it elsewhere or who know those who do.