Beginner’s Guide to the LINE Ads Platform

Beginners Guide to LINE ads platform

What is LINE?

Since its release in March 2011, LINE has become the most popular social media network in Japan. The app has over 70 million monthly active users (MAU) in Japan, which is approximately 2.5 times more than Facebook. Twitter is the 2nd most used social platform in Japan with 45 million MAU. (Source: comnico inc.)

Social media (SNS) market share in Japan

Social media (SNS) market share in Japan

LINE is also super popular in 3 other countries: Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia. Approximately 77% of the global MAU comes from these 4 countries (including Japan), which together boast over 168 million MAU.

Number of LINE users in top 4 countries

Number of LINE users in top 4 countries

For digital marketers looking to advertise in Japan, LINE is a platform that can’t be missed. It reaches a wider range of users than any other SNS platform, facilitating better brand awareness and more leads.

In this article, I will briefly guide you through some useful features of the LINE Ads Platform to help you start your LINE advertising campaign.

Social Media + LINE in Japan

LINE is an instant messaging app that allows users to communicate through texts, images, and videos. Like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger, it also has a variety of entertainment features, such as the ability to send creative stickers (emojis) and play online games.

The main difference between LINE and its competitors is that it has more integrated features, including news, timeline (newsfeed), manga (comics), and wallet (online banking). With LINE, you don’t need to access other social media to get your daily information and entertainment fix. This is one reason behind LINE’s dominance in Japan.

LINE features (news, timeline, wallet)

LINE features (news, timeline, and wallet)

Other popular platforms, such as Rakuten, Yahoo! Japan, and DMM, also host a wealth of information and have several integrated platforms. Therefore, it’s clear that multi-purpose features on an app or a website effectively attracts Japanese users.

Popular websites in Japan (Rakuten and DMM)

Popular websites in Japan (Rakuten and DMM)

Basic LINE Ads Format + Components

LINE Ad Format

There are 3 ad formats to choose from:

  • Web ad
    • Used to promote content on an external site
  • App ad
    • Used to promote app downloads
  • Video ad
    • Used to promote brand awareness

LINE Ad Components

3-6 basic ad components can be displayed to your potential customers. Like other display networks, the components and size of the image may change depending on the ad’s location. For instance, if your ad is displayed on the timeline, it will have all 6 components:

  • Icon/account name
  • Description
  • Image
  • Title
  • Action button
  • Likes
LINE Ads Platform - ad components for timeline

LINE Ads Platform – ad components for timeline

When ads are displayed on LINE News or LINE Manga, there are 3-5 basic components:

  • Image
  • Title
  • Account name
  • Description
  • Action button
LINE Ads Platform - ad components (LINE News and LINE Manga

LINE Ads Platform- ad components (LINE News)

How to Manage the LINE Ads Platform

LINE Audience Targeting

Targeting the right demographic to match your product is a key component in all your marketing activities. When determining your target audience on LINE, there are 4 segments to choose from:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Region
  • Interests
LINE Ads Platform - audience targeting

LINE Ads Platform – audience targeting

Kicking off your campaign with a broad target audience can create higher costs, because your ads will be exposed to thousands of users who may not be interested in your product or service. Therefore, targeting a specific audience and testing your campaigns and ad groups will help you better understand user behavior and develop cost-effective strategies.

Note: LINE does not provide any specific user information or 3rd-party data. Therefore, advertisers must rely on extrapolated data to analyze user behavior. This means that, for example, even if you do interest targeting for “fashion,” it may not mean that the audience is interested in your particular clothing product.


Extrapolated data can be a risk when targeting specific customers. The segmentation strategy briefly explained above may drive traffic that is unlikely to convert. By retargeting on the LINE Ads Platform, you can narrow down the users who have visited your website or app.

Note: It’s important to implement segment (audience building) tags before you start any campaign on the LINE Ads Platform, so that all accessed data can be tracked and used at any time.

Available Metrics

Like Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, clicks, impressions, CTRs (click-through rates), conversions, average cost, and total cost can be viewed on the management tool.

LINE Ads Platform - available metrics

LINE Ads Platform – available metrics

However, detailed data, such as the ad location and the time that the ads are shown, can only be seen when exporting the data through Excel into a .csv file.

LINE Ads Platform - Excel.csv report

LINE Ads Platform – Excel.csv report

The LINE Ads Platform does not promote activities outside of the platform. Therefore, it’s important to implement parameters on your final URL to track user behavior on Google Analytics or another business intelligence tool.

This can produce more detailed information, such as the bounce rate and the average duration on the landing page or an app page. In addition, you can also see if the conversions are firing properly and showing expected results (as there is sometimes a small glitch when using different platforms in tandem).


The LINE Ads Platform can be an effective solution to improve brand awareness and drive traffic to your landing pages, app, and website. For companies looking to promote customer-oriented products, LINE is a platform that can’t be underestimated—it can help you reach up to 70 million users in Japan per month!

If you’d like more insights on the LINE Ads Platform, please feel free to get in touch.

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