We’ve been keeping a close eye on the growth of messaging apps from Asia like WeChat, Line and KakaoTalk. Line had several announcements over the Christmas period, including the launch of Line Mall, its mobile shopping app, in its native Japan. It’s akin to eBay with its buyers and sellers. Line is also introducing “Line Free Coin” ads across Asia, letting its users earn virtual coins by watching video ads. Oh, and it’s working with LG to help people control their home appliances by sending messages within the Line app too – think of the potential for this and connected hi-fis… In separate news, South Korean rival KakaoTalk is expected to generate $200m of revenues for 2013, up from $42m in 2012. KakaoTalk now has 130m users, and is expanding across Asia gradually.

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