Line Passes 300M Users And No They Don’t Own Line.com

You’ve probably never heard of Line, and no I’m not talking about Line.com the parked page on Sedo. I’m talking about LineCorp.com the messaging giant that started in Japan and will soon have more users than there are people in the United States. 100M of those sign-ups have come over the last four months and the service is still growing, and fast.

LineCorpNow let’s compare this to Line.com which I agree is an incredibly valuable name, probably a seven-figure name, but that is sitting dormant with, well, zero users because it’s a parked page.

line-dot-com

So let’s talk about the world of messaging apps and then I’ll get back to the LineCorp.com vs. Line.com discussion. So you’ve heard of a little company a few blocks from my place called Snapchat right? You’ve also probably heard of a messaging app called Kik. However I doubt you’ve heard of Line, WeChat, or KakaoTalk all three of which have more users than Kik.

Are you out of touch? Not, not really, you’re just not plugged-into the incredible growth of messaging apps outside of the US. Kik has a whopping 90M users but this pales in comparison to competitors like WeChat who boasts 600M users. Never heard of WeChat? That’s because it’s China’s #1 messaging app and yes, those numbers are right, there are more WeChat users than there are people in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Mexico, combined.

So now back to Line.com. 

line-user-growth

My point here is not to bash Line.com for sitting parked while LineCorp.com build a billion dollar business. I personally help startups acquire one-word .COMs and know how valuable they are. If I owned Line.com myself I’d probably have a hard time parting with it for under $1M. So no issues there, got it?

What I am saying is that there is often a lot of talk in the domain world about how you have to own the .COM before you can build a successful business. There’s also a lot of rumors about companies losing so much traffic to the .COM that they have to buy it eventually. I think that’s a bunch of BS.

If a company called Line can get 300M users and do it all with LineCorp.com I think it’s hard to say that not owning Line.com is hurting them. Like I said above, I still see Line.com as a seven-figure name and think the owner should hold-onto it until he gets an offer in that range. Still for anyone out there thinking that you need to own Line.com to build a successful company called Line, sorry but that’s just not true.

Agree with me? Disagree with me and want to tell me I suck? Comment and let your voice be heard!

(Chart credit – LineCorp)

{ 18 comments… add one }

  • alex November 25, 2013, 9:28 am

    I agree with you 100%… most people just don’t take action to start their own business and as an excuse they want the “PERFECT” domain to start.

    Reply
  • J November 25, 2013, 9:48 am

    You keep using example of extremelly successful apps as businesses that don’t need a perfect .com. 99.99% of businesses have absolutely no use for apps, but they still have to do marketing and make sales. A perfect .com becomes their # 1 marketing asset.

    Reply
    • Morgan November 25, 2013, 10:00 am

      @J – the world is changing, 99% of businesses will need apps over the next five years…

      Reply
  • Utkarsh November 25, 2013, 10:43 am

    It’s not really an apt comparison. Line is primarily an app and it’s website doesn’t really serve as the main contact point for the consumer.

    On the other hand if a webapp achieved a similar thing, that would be something.

    Sites like Pocket are doing quite well with names like getpocket.com despite the $ millions in venture capital.

    Reply
  • HowieCrosby November 25, 2013, 10:47 am

    It would be like saying every business requires a premium .com! Pure elitism!

    Reply
  • Alan Dodd, namedream.com November 25, 2013, 11:27 am

    I remember reading when I started this Internet thingy, someone said on one of the forums, I can’t quite recall the exact words…

    “You know… there’s no rules with this thing…”

    Just the way it was said resonated, the context was in relation to naming strategy. And I think it’s proved by this Line case.

    The owner of the parked page must watch “usage” on the pp. Great name, could well be a cool payday.

    Reply
  • Jonathan November 25, 2013, 12:14 pm

    “premium .com! Pure elitism” Yep, that’s why we any it Howie. Fortune 500

    Reply
  • Jonathan November 25, 2013, 12:18 pm

    God, two galesses of wine & I bit on the Howie comment, Shame on me, “Mea Maxima Culpa”

    Reply
  • albert November 25, 2013, 1:25 pm

    When I was getting sued for a domain name about (I won by the way), I was told my an attorney friend that judges don’t like to see something just basically sitting there and doing nothing. Precedent I guess was land useage lawsuits where a developer wanted to build something and some owner of land would not sell at a reasonable price.
    Now we are single generic domain names (cannary.com comes to mind) being handed over to people even though it is a word that is found in the dictionary and they really had no right to it.
    Who ever owns these valuable domains and is not putting them to use (I don’t mean parking) will have to gear up for a major lawsuit should they lose it in the arbitration system.
    The case that Playbook brought against one of there former models was a good indicaiton of domain name protection. The court essentially said that a company take a word out of the dictionary (in this case, it was playbook) and call it exclusively theirs.
    The problem is the time and money it costs to enforce your rights.
    Just look at Nissan.com

    Reply
  • J November 25, 2013, 1:31 pm

    Morgan,
    I don’t even know what to tell you if you really think that 99% of businesses will be offering apps in 5 years. If you research apps economy, you will see that overwhelming majority of businesses that already offer apps think it’s a total waste of time and money. The whole apps economy is really dying if anything. An average person opened something like 6 or 8 apps in the past year. A couple of those I am sure are chat or twitter, a couple of games, a couple of news apps maybe.

    Reply
    • Morgan November 25, 2013, 3:52 pm

      @J – sorry man but you should really look at the numbers, if you think apps are dying then you’re missing the boat…

      Reply
  • Brian November 25, 2013, 2:09 pm

    Morgan,

    I agree 100% Line.com should be owned by Line Corp – When I seen your post and you said “You’ve probably never heard of Line” I think as an Industry we already had…

    It’s a good story but this was covered on RobbiesBlog.com a few weeks ago…

    http://robbiesblog.com/line-com-sold-six-figures-dns-flipped-higher/2199

    Cheers,

    Brian

    Reply
  • michael November 25, 2013, 2:13 pm

    I think sites or apps that don’t sell anything just need a good brand with a dot com on the end! If you are building a new cool messaging system, why would you want to call it MessagingSystem.com? It’s hard to remember plus it’s boring and your not going to get any search traffic anyway. So you should probably give it some fun cool name people will remember like “tulip” or “KrispyKream” lol! If you are selling laser printers and all brands of them, LaserPrinters.com would be your best bet to get the search engine traffic to sell a ton of laser printers. But if you’re building a laser printer give it a brand!

    I don’t think a lot of people are waiting for line.com to be built into something cool 🙁 I keep waiting for Arcade.com to be built into some awesome website but I am disappointed year after year with the same for sale page 🙁

    Reply
  • John Poole November 25, 2013, 4:41 pm

    Morgan, I don’t think they got 300M users and (in your words) “do it all with LineCorp.com” — they are marketing an app called LINE through multiple channels and websites, for example if you google search “Line Messaging App” the first website that comes up is http://line.naver.jp/en/ NOT LineCorp.com.

    Reply
    • Morgan November 25, 2013, 4:55 pm

      @JohnPoole – completely agreed, the domain had nothing to do with the success, as with most apps domain name doesn’t matter.

      Reply
  • Alan Dodd November 25, 2013, 5:02 pm

    On the plus side from a “domaining” point of view – at least they chose a dot-com.

    Perhaps we shouldn’t go there 🙂

    Reply
  • Domenclature.com November 25, 2013, 6:45 pm

    Great comments, no need to add, except perhaps, to add that domenclature.com has launched BrandNugget.com, and we’re offering great brand names until Dec 31st at $799, for example Xnafu.com …

    Hurry in and grab’em before it’s too late.

    Comapnies like LineCorp should really visit us.

    Reply
  • HowieCrosby November 25, 2013, 9:26 pm

    Hi @Jonathan I was not alluding to premium .com’s being elitist, I think they’re just as awesome as the next domainer 😉

    Reply

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