[THE INVESTOR] South Korean internet giant Naver said on Jan. 4 that its mobile video messaging app Snow has attracted more than 100 million users worldwide as of December.
Released in September 2015, Snow is a mobile messaging app that lets users exchange video messages and photos with other users. It offers a range of camera filters that add shining eyes, bunny ears, funny masks and other elements to selfies and videos.
Snow surpassed the 100 million user mark as of mid-December 2016, just 15 months after its release, Naver said. This beats the 19 months it took Naver’s mobile messaging app Line -- launched in June 2011 -- to reach the same milestone.
As an emerging competitor to Snapchat in Asia, Snow has been quickly garnering popularity among Asian teens and 20-somethings, particularly those in Japan and Southeast Asia, according to Naver.
Acknowledging Snow’s potential, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly called Naver’s Chairman Lee Hae-jin in person with an acquisition offer last year. Lee, however, rejected the proposal.
For now, Naver is out to nurture Snow on its own, with aims to recreate the global success it achieved with Line -- the dominant mobile messenger used in countries such as Japan, Taiwan, Indonesia and Thailand.
Line Corp. went public in Tokyo and the US in July last year, raising $1.3 billion through the biggest initial public offering of the year in the tech sector.
As part of such efforts, Naver’s mobile business unit Camp Mobile set up an independent company for Snow in August, seeking to nurture the app’s growth with more efficiency.
By Sohn Ji-young/The Korea Herald (email@example.com)