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Grocery Delivery Service Grows Out of App

  • Forbes, Thursday, February 5, 2015 1 PM

It’s becoming harder to call LINE a messaging app these days. After building up a platform for playing games, sharing stickers and even texting refrigerators, it’s now launching a grocery delivery service, initially in Thailand. Last year its rival WeChat launched e-commerce and food delivery services too. These once-humble chat apps are evolving into sprawling platforms from which users can communicate, play, shop and even book taxis. Driving this expansion is the search for new revenue streams. While mobile ads have been a surefire moneymaker for social networks like Facebook, they don’t work for messaging apps. Nobody wants to see a banner pop up while texting their friends. Yet LINE still managed to book revenues of $338 million in 2013 from selling games, sponsored content and digital stickers.

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