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LINE messenger breaks 150 mln user milestone
SEOUL, May 1 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's top portal operator NHN Corp. said Wednesday that its free messenger application LINE broke the 150-million download mark as worldwide smartphone users rushed to connect with one another through the mobile messenger service.

   The milestone came four months after the service drew 100 million users in January this year. The free messenger service was launched in June 2011.

   Since the initial launch, the company has expanded the service to roughly 230 countries in 11 languages, including Chinese, Spanish and Indonesian. The messenger service is distributed by its affiliate NHN Japan.

   The company attributed the growth to an increase in users in the Middle East and Asia following the inclusion of free voice calling and sticker features in late 2011.

   NHN vowed to ramp up its overseas expansion by bolstering marketing in China, Europe and the United States. It also plans to increase the platform features the service offers by teaming up with various content providers.

   Currently, 90 percent of LINE users are based overseas, with Japan, Thailand and Taiwan noted as its three biggest markets.