【LINE Ads】Review of 2020 and Products to Watch in 2021

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Because LINE Ads have been evolving rapidly over the past few years, many of you may say you can’t keep up gathering information regarding their frequent updates. To reduce your hassle, we review the updates to LINE Ads in 2020 and introduce products to watch in 2021 in this post.

1. What is LINE Ads?

LINE Ads is a programmatic advertising platform that can distribute ads on LINE, a communication app with monthly active users of more than 86 million*1 in Japan. With LINE Ads, you can distribute ads to the “Smart Channel (Talk head view)” displayed at the top of the talk list, to timelines, and to “LINE Family Services” such as “LINE NEWS” and “LINE Wallet”.
Now, let’s look back at some of the important updates to LINE Ads that took place in 2020.

(Figure 1: Example of LINE Ad placement, Source: LINE for Business) *The design may vary depending on the version.
*1: Based on “LINE Business Guide January-June 2021”

2. Review of the 2020 important updates to LINE Ads

  1. Renews the product name to LINE Ads
    In January 2020, LINE changed the name of the product from “LINE Ads Platform” (commonly known as LAP) to “LINE Ads” *2. This seemed a significant change for marketers familiar with “LAP,” including myself. According to LINE, this change was made in anticipation of the future expansion of services and features of each product.

  2. Easier utilization for branding with updates around videos
    After changing the name to LINE Ads, it enabled you to run optimization on video playback from June 2020, in addition to reaching simulation, which was already possible. In May, LINE Ads added the Nielsen DAR*3 feature, enabling measurements of unique reach and cross-sectional reach (distributing ads to other media in parallel). With these two updates, LINE Ads has become a platform fully capable of delivering branded videos.

  3. Expansion of cross-targeting applications with the LINE official LINE Tag release
    In January 2020, LINE Ads enabled integration with official LINE accounts through a targeting function called “cross-targeting”. (Linking with LINE Point AD was already available in December 2019.) With this feature, you became able to distribute retargeting ads and similar ads to users who opened or clicked the link within texts from the official LINE account.

(Figure 2: Cross-targeting, Source: “LINE Business Guide January-June 2021“)
*Green words: LINE Ads, Official LINE account, Entry with LINE

And with the opening of LINE Tag to official LINE account in October, a feature that was only available with LINE Ads, it became able to measure website actions (conversion events) of friend users of the official LINE account. Furthermore, it became possible to create audiences from the conversion events measured with LINE Tag of the official LINE account since November.

With these two updates in October and November, LINE Ads has dramatically expanded its effectiveness with cross-targeting. For example, you can now send messages via the official LINE account to users who have purchased products via LINE Ads or include/exclude from LINE Ads after friend users have bought products.

*2: LINE for Business January 14, 2020 “Discontinuation and Change of Some Product Names”
*3: Nielsen Digital Corporation, “Digital Ad Ratings

3. Product to Watch in 2021: “Cross-platform”

Looking back over the last year, you can see that LINE Ads has taken a leap with many updates in a short period. And LINE has announced that “cross-platform” will be their primary focus in 2021.

(Figure 3: Cross-platform concept, Source: LINE for Business Cross-platform)
*Green words: LINE Ads, LINE Point AD, Line Flyer, LINE Sales Promotions, LINE Promotional Stamps, Official LINE account
*Gray words: Awareness, Understand, Consideration, Purchase, Loyalty, Repeat

As the cross-platform is further enhanced, it will be possible to analyze data across services such as LINE Promotional Stamps and LINE Entry (formerly LINE Sales Promotion) and utilize that data over the full-funnel from awareness to acquisition. The key is to make the most of cross-targeting to communicate appropriately with users for different promotional purposes.

(Figure 4: Examples of possible future usages)
(Source: “LINE Business Guide January-June 2021”)

4. Summary

LINE Ads continues to grow into a platform for users to receive the information they need and for companies to maximize their revenues.
With the overwhelming number of active users among the SNSs used in Japan, future updates of LINE Ads are something you may want to keep an eye on.

Want to know more about LINE Ads?
Contact us to discuss how we can work together.

Irep Inc. is an award-winning global digital marketing agency based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Our headquarters are in Tokyo and our network spans more than 20 countries. In Japan, we are ranked No. 1 for performance-based marketing. We also offer highly specialized market entry, as well as integrated marketing and localization services. Since 1997, our data-driven solutions have effectively led our diverse international clientele to continuous success in Japan, Asia, and beyond.

Irep Inc.
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