The latest update to Japan’s top social messaging app Line comes with a Viber- and Skype-like voice call feature (hat-tip to @WhatTheBit for spotting). The iOS version hasn’t got the update yet.
Calls can be made to mobile and landline numbers from Columbia, Japan, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Spain, Thailand, and the US. Taiwan has been left out of the pack for now. Users must be registered with their current phone number.
A 30-day plan costs JPY 6.5 (about US$0.06), or JPY 14 (US$0.13) per minute to cellphones and JPY 3 (about US$0.03) to landlines on the pay-as-you-go plan.
It’s become customary for Line’s new features to hit Android first. Line Mall, another recent addition, didn’t make its way to iOS until over two months after it was release on Android.
Line first announced the call feature was coming late last month. In December, Line’s parent company Naver (KRX:035420) acquired Whoscall for $17.6 million then released a rebranded version in January. The service tracks and blocks unwanted phone calls. The company’s foray into calls poses a threat to the long reigning Skype, at least on the mobile front.