Line (mobile app)

Line (mobile app)

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Choi Si-won loves Line.
Choi Si-won loves Line.
Photo: James Whittle/SCMP
The latest Circle K giveaways are some very cute figurines based on the original characters created by software company Naver to promote their Line app. While in Hong Kong most people use Whatsapp, the free messaging service is hugely popular in countries such as Japan, South Korea, Thailand and Taiwan.

The program's popularity lies in the stickers that can be used in chats like emoticons. They come in various themes and styles, and many of them are based on popular anime and cartoon characters, such as Doraemon and Mickey Mouse. Plus, if you register an e-mail account, stickers you download (both free and paid-for stickers are available) are recorded meaning if you change phone, you can access them without having to search and/or pay for them again.

Using Line also gives you access to a homepage similar to that of social media app Path where you can post photos and messages, not to mention free online mobile games.

If that doesn't push you over the Line (see what I did there?), the company has cunningly cast K-Pop star Choi Si-won, from boy band Super Junior, in a TV ad where he sends stickers to his on-screen girlfriend. Perhaps they should release a Si-won sticker set, as his thousands of Hong Kong fans would then be sure to use the app.

Line also offers free voice calls, photo decoration and group chats.

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