As I reported earlier this week, Asian mobile messaging platform Line reached a new milestone of 200 million users, news that is extremely impressive, given that the app had 100 million users in January and 150 million users in April.
The service only launched in June 2011, so it took two years to get to this point. So that got me thinking, how does that compare to how long it took some of the other big Internet companies out there to get to the same level?
The answer only makes Line's feat look that much more incredible.
Take, for example, the four of the biggest Internet properties: Facebook, Twitter, Skype and LinkedIn. Line has outpaced all of them.
Facebook: 8 months
Launched: February 2004
100M users: August 2008
200M users: April 2009
Facebook, which officially launched on February 2004 (it was then known as "Thefacebook"). Facebook took a while to reached 100 million users users, not getting there for over four years, in August of 2008. But the service was able to grow quickly after that, and reached 200 million users less than a year later, in April of 2009, a little over five years after its inital launch.
Twitter: 14 months
Launched: July 2006
100M users: September 2011
200M users: December 2012
Meanwhile Twitter launched in July of 2006, and took even longer than Facebook to get to its milestones, not getting to 100 million users for over five years, until September 2011. The 200 million mark was then reached a little over a year later, in December 2012.
Skype: roughly 31 months
Launched: August 2003
100M users: April 2006
200M users: October 2012
Skype was first launched in August 2003 and it took less than three years to get to 100 million users. Once the company was purchased by Microsoft in 2011, those numbers were no longer released, though the company did say that Skype had 280 million members in its October 2012 earnings report.
LinkedIn: 22 months
Launched: May 2003
100M users: March 2011
200M users: January 2013
LinkedIn didn't get to 100 million users until March of 2011, right before its IPO. That is nearly eight years after it was first introduced! But, like the others, the 100 million mark was the hard part, and it took the network less than two years to double it.
Some have not even reached 100 million!
We should also take a look at all of these companies that were launched before Line. Most of them still have not even seen 100 million users, let alone 200 million.
Launched: October 2010
100M users: March 2013
Take Tango, the all-in-one social networking app, which allows users to text, call, video chat and play games with each other for free. It is basically the American version of Line.
The company has not even come close to 200 million, despite launching before Line, in October 2010. It was only recently able to get to 100 million users in March.
Launched: October 2010
10M users: April 2013
Path has seen even slower growth. The company launched in November 2010 as a photo-sharing serviced, but chose to relaunch in November 2011. By April of 2013, it had 10 million users.
Launched: November 2009
33M users: April 2013
Since its launch in November 2009, Foursquare has only managed to get around 33 million people to use the service, taking 3 and a half years to get there. At that rate it would take until April of 2020 to get to 100 million users.
Launched: March 2010
70M users: July 2013
There is one company that I thought might have a chance of catching up to Line: Pinterest. But that service has also taken longer than I thought to get off the ground.
Since launching as a closed beta in March 2010, the company has picked up around 70 million users, according to a study released from Semiocast earlier this month.
And, for the ultimate comparison, look at how Line does when stacked against sales of the iPhone.
Launched: June 2007
100 milion: March 2011
Line is even outpacing sales of the iPhone, at least initially. The first iPhone came out in June of 2007 and it took a little bit for people to warm up to them, not reaching 100 million units sold until March of 2011, nearly four years later. Since then, though, sales have EXPLODED. In June of this year, Apple revealed that it had sold 600 million units worldwide.
So there you have it. Line has done something pretty special. By gaining so many users in such a short amount of time it has proven itself to be in league with some of the most well-known Internet giants out there.
(Image source: http://www.tripadvisor.ca)