Making Friends through Japan’s Line App — 43 Comments

  1. You can also ‘follow’ companies and other feeds on LINE, a bit like Twitter. I follow this one account that sends a short English lesson everyday. I’m British, so why do I do this? Well about 90% of the content is in 日本語. And the little bit of English provides some useful context. So it’s a great way to study Japanese!

    • Very interesting. I’m going to have to try this. Any other worthwhile companies to follow you recommend?

      • To be honest I haven’t tried following others yet, but should probably give it a go as it’s a good way to get continuous exposure. The ‘English learning’ account I follow is called “LINE毎日英会話”.

      • There are pop bands and 芸能人 you can follow, but in my experience most of the content is just their upcoming appearances or releases. I tried following a few companies but I ended up blocking them all. It was just a seeming continuous stream of spam that didn’t actually interest me.

  2. I’ve been living in Japan about 50 minutes south of Tokyo for 7 months now. I’ll say this, line is a must have app. People don’t ask what your phone number is any more it’s always what’s your line. My wife uses it to talk to family back in America for free and it works way better than skype.

    Plus it comes in japanese, icing on the cake for me.

    • Yeah it is such a major part of the culture. Even on TV shows it is a given that everyone is using Line. It used to be “Let’s exchange info through 赤外線 Infrared.” Now it’s let’s ふるふる which is the shaking action to get the phones to exchange info.

  3. You can also form line groups and invite multiple people to chat conversations. Groups persist and have completely replaced the old mailing lists for clubs, circles, and just about any group of friends. Chat conversations is great for coordinating meet ups and keeping track of larger groups as they split up and rejoin through out the night.

    Socially I feel like not having LINE is equivalent to not having a cell phone at all. Compared to the easy of tapping out dozens of LINE messages to different people, which are all sent extremely quickly in the background, using normal phone mail seems ancient and slow.

    One small hint, you can turn off the message text when you get notifications so that your friends can’t phone bomb you with inappropriate stamps at inappropriate times.

    • Good hint. I have friends who won’t stop stamping (not me)! I’m sure Line will reign supreme in Japan… for a few years, until the next cool thing happens. It’s hard to keep up!

  4. Is there any way to change the language in the app? I can’t find any “settings” or anything. Obviously I’d like to change it to Japanese. Tried installing it through the Japanese version of google play but that didn’t seem to help.

    • Going along with what juca said, if your phone is in Japanese, I think the app is in Japanese. Not sure if there is a way to have your phone in English and the App in Japanese, but maybe somebody knows? If not, maybe this is the time to switch your phone to Japanese!

    • Even with a Japanese VPN, I can’t seem to install it in Japanese. I’ve managed to download Hulu’s Japanese app and NHK Radio, but cannot find Line in Japanese.

      I personally do not like Line’s design, at all. It’s not cute, to me. Then, I can’t even change the language settings to Japanese (-_-)

      • I’ve been using Line recently and it’s pretty nice!

        I don’t like some of the stickers, but some of the stickers are cute. It’s not as bad as I thought. Extremely useful! Especially for contacting one of my friends in Japan. Now I can finally text her again ever since she moved back.

  5. “I’m not an emoticon person, I’m a guy, and I don’t need pictures to express myself.”

    I hope this was sarcasm. No need to perpetuate that awful gender stereotype…

    • Interesting app made by Line. Definitely come back and let us know your experience with it!

  6. FYI Line is owned by Korean company Naver which is kinda funny since in Korea everyone uses KakaoTalk, Granted, the Japanese branch is the one that released it first and promoted it.

    I have both on my phone since I talk to both Korean & Japanese friends.

    • Good point. I wonder why it never caught in Korea as much as it did in Japan.

    • From Wikipedia:
      “KakaoTalk was released on March 18, 2010, by Kakao Corp.[2] Kakao Corp. was founded by Kim Beom Soo, the former CEO of NHN Corporation (founder of Hangame, which merged with to create NHN).”

      Line was released on June 23, 2011 and even now has less multi-language support than KakaoTalk so maybe it was released as Japanese only? In any case KakaoTalk was released over a year earlier and probably was the defacto chat app long before Korea had ever heard of LINE.

      It can be tough being the late comer. DeNa made their own app Comm ( promoted it heavily with commercials and completely failed to gain any traction on LINE. The last update on their webpage was April 2013 …

  7. Hey! I recently(just now) installed line.. Only to learn japanese. Have no clue how to get people who speak japanese. Can any of you add me. I would like to have casual day to day talk in japanese.

  8. Looking back on this article since I noticed it in the “random article” box:

    “if you meet a non-senior citizen, there is a high probability that they will be using Line…”

    …Unless that person happens to be my husband, who vehemently hates Line, ha.

    It’s something to note that Line doesn’t work on all devices. We cannot sign up for Line on our smartphones. For some reason Line decided if you’re on a cell phone, you have to authenticate Line with your cell phone number. It can’t be done via Facebook like before. And our IP cell phone numbers don’t work with Line.

    Like my husband, I’m not so fond of Line anyways, but it is a big deal for some people who actually want to use Line and have an IP cell phone at the same time. Line is a bit restrictive in that way.

    At least if a Japanese person were to ask me to join Line, I cannot be convinced into installing an app I don’t want, because it’s impossible to use it anyways.

    • I feel a need to update this.

      Line’s authenticate via Facebook is working again, so I made a dummy FB account (since I don’t use FB), and got a Line account and am currently loving it^^ My husband is using it too.

      I used to hate Line, because of how much storage it took up, how hard it is to sign up, and the design, but now I’m realizing I like it much better than the other IMing apps out there. And with one chat background change, I don’t hate the design so much anymore.

      (There’s a lite ver. of thr app, but I think it’s region blocked in Japan.)

      • On Android funnily enough the lite version is takes up more storage than the regular version

        • Oh! Wow! I guess they just cut down on features to make it more appealing anD less confusing for people used to simpler messengers?

          • Hmm, “素早く容易にインストール可能”, it seems the appeal is it’s faster than the original Line to download.

  9. “これなら回線が遅い環境や、2G回線でも問題なくインストールできそうです。”

    Oh! So it’s so people can download Line on a slow connection or 2g. Not about the storage size itself.

  10. You can use LINE in Japanese on an English IOS, but first have to download the Japanese version. It’s easy. No need to download anything extra or change the iPhone’s language settings.

    • If you mean the ability to type in Japanese, you need to add a Japanese keyboard to your mobile device. If you mean you want the app and all its settings/graphics to appear in Japanese, you need to set your mobile device language to Japanese.

  11. I just started using the line app to chat with my friends in japan. For some reason we are not able to add each other as friends. When We search each other it comes up as user not found. We haven’t been able to add each other in other countries. Anyone know how to add friends in other countries? I live in the US and they live in japan.

    • Update. I turns out the ID had been typed incorrectly too many times and LINE blocked adding those users temporarily. Got it worked out. ??