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LINE Ads: how to target Japanese mobile users?

LINE app is the WhatsApp and WeChat of Japan, with an attractive user base of over 95 million in Japan. LINE Ads are a great way to target Japanese smartphone users.

As a super app, LINE has some great features, including a barcode payment system and an e-commerce platform. 

LINE Official Account

LINE Official Account allows brands and businesses to open special profiles and use them to connect with users, send out promotional information, and run advertising campaigns.

Every business can open an Official Account for free.


Types of LINE Accounts

  1. Unofficial Account
    Anyone can open this type of account.
  2. Official Account
    These are verified accounts, usually of brands, products and services. Allows businesses to run LINE Ads and other business services.
  3. Premium Account
    Only select accounts approved by LINE will qualify.

Basic functions include:

  • Message users, one on one or by segment
  • A/B test messages
  • Manage the number of messages sent out
  • Post on the timeline 
  • Share coupons
  • Chat with customers (smart chat available)
  • Conduct customer service surveys

Once you have an Official Account, you’re ready to start your online ad campaigns with LINE Ads.

Ad Formats

The following ad formats are available in both image and video.

1200 x 628
1080 x 1080

These ads are only available in image formats.

600 x 600
Creative Image and Text
(for Talk List)

Ad Placement

There are several different areas within the app where your ads could appear.

  1. Talk List
    Ads appear at the top of the chat page that lists the user’s existing chats with friends.
  2. LINE News
    Ads appear within the news feed and can also appear in one of 324 partner media account’s news feeds.
  3. Voom
    LINE Timeline has been reborn as the video platform LINE Voom. Users can post videos and enjoy all sorts of short-form videos.
  4. LINE Manga
    This is Japan’s largest online comic service. Ads appear within the LINE Manga app.
  5. LINE Blog
    Japanese celebrities use this to communicate with their fans. Blog posts integrate with their LINE Official Accounts and posts to LINE’s timeline. Ads appear within the LINE Blog app.
  6. LINE Points
    A service that allows users to collect points when completing certain tasks and missions on LINE. Ads appear within the LINE Points page.
  7. LINE Shopping
    An ecommerce platform within the LINE app with over 250 merchants and 100 million products. Ads appear within the LINE Shopping page.
  8. LINE Ads Network
    Allows advertisers to deliver their ads to LINE and LINE-related services. It boasts Japan’s largest ad inventory with 54 million MAU2

Ad Targeting

Finetune your reach with the following ad targeting features:

  • User demographics (age, gender, location, interest, religion, OS, etc.)
  • Audience targeting (display only to specific audiences, i.e. first-time buyers)
  • Look-alike audience targeting (finds similar users based on web traffic, in-app events, and friends of users on LINE)
  • Re-engagement (target LINE users who have downloaded your app but are no longer active users)

Ad Types

Aside from regular LINE ads, there are other types of ads offered.

Cost Per Friends

Businesses can gain “friends” with these ads. Official Accounts can offer special promotions and discounts to LINE users during this process.

First View

Limited to one ad per Official Account per day, this allows the display of an ad for 24 hours at the top of all LINE users’ timelines. 

LINE Dynamic Ads

Based on what types of products a user has viewed in the past, LINE will deliver ads to users that may find interest in your product. Each ad is personalised for each user and the URLs can be unique to each product, helping to increase conversion rates. 


The following are some of the industries that are not allowed to advertise on LINE.

  • Adult
  • Religion
  • Beauty salons
  • Dating
  • Gambling
  • Weapons
  • Cigarettes 
  • Sanitary products
  • Political parties
  • Medical and cosmetic surgery
  • Drugs

Here is a full list of unapproved industries in Japanese.

What you need to start advertising on LINE

  1. Apply for a LINE Official Account
  2. Define your target audience
  3. Have all campaign creatives and landing pages localised into Japanese
  4. Choose ad placement locations for ad delivery
  5. Set targeting measures and ad spend budget
  6. Embed tags for tracking conversions

Although the LINE Official Account ad management platform is available in English, almost all documents and support for opening a LINE Official Account and running LINE Ads are in Japanese. At DMFA, our team of bilingual Japanese digital marketing experts offer full support and management of both services as well as website localisation. To get started with LINE Ads, please get in touch.

1 Source: LINE Media Guide

2 Source: Linebiz 

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