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Twilio now supports LINE, adding to the number of channels developers can reach with one API

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We’re thrilled to announce support for LINE, enabling you to deliver rich, interactive messaging experiences on one of the most popular messaging apps in the world. LINE has native support for interactive message formats like rich cards as well as sharing images, audio and video files.

Over the last 10 years, developers have used Programmable SMS to build incredibly innovative messaging experiences for their users, whether that’s a personal shopping concierge, improving patient care through regular communication or helping millions of people avoid parking tickets.  

With Twilio Channels, developers can use this same API to build these messaging experiences on RCS, Facebook Messenger and starting today, LINE. By using the Rich Messaging Extensions to the Programmable SMS API, they can also leverage the rich capabilities of these channels by simply including additional parameters in the API request.

Twilio Channels also work seamlessly with Twilio Studio, a visual drag-and-drop application builder for communications, allowing developers to use Studio to power messaging experiences in LINE.  

Planet of the Apps

Messaging has expanded to more than SMS in today’s multi-channel world, making it essential to reach your users on the messaging channels they prefer. They’re spending more and more time in their favorite applications, which differ based on where they’re located, what languages they speak and their age, to pick only a few variables. WhatsApp is popular in South Asia and Latin America, iMessage in North America and WeChat in China, for example.

This creates a challenge for developers looking to deliver amazing messaging experiences to users on their preferred channels. In the past, when messaging channels like LINE became available, developers had to wrestle with new protocols or APIs, differing capabilities, and tooling or lack thereof. This was a complex and time-consuming process. The high cost of supporting new channels meant businesses weren’t able to engage on customers’  preferred channels.

Future Proof with One API

With Twilio Channels, developers no longer need to deal with this fragmentation in the messaging ecosystem in order to reach customers where they want to be reached. The same Twilio app can support SMS, MMS, Facebook Messenger, RCS and now LINE, without custom code for every different channel.

Rather than wrestling with variations in APIs, capabilities and tooling across various channels, Twilio’s platform provides one API that supports virtually every messaging channel, giving developers the ability to integrate new channels in minutes.  

LINE is Big in Japan

Over 168 million people use LINE every month to communicate with their friends and family, with a large portion of these users residing in Japan, Thailand, Taiwan and Indonesia. LINE is extremely popular in Japan, with 73 million people using it every month. It has evolved into more than just a interpersonal messaging app, with people increasingly using it to interact with businesses. They’re using it to browse products and place orders, get news alerts, receive important notifications and a plethora of other uses.

Rich cards in LINE

LINE’s rich messaging capabilities are a huge draw for businesses, allowing them to devise novel ways to interact with their customers. Rich messages make it easy to send content like images, audio files and videos to name a few, directly to the user in the chat window. Developers can also create rich cards by combining images, text and suggested actions. For example, an appointment reminder can be sent as a rich card, with suggested responses to confirm or reschedule the appointment.

Today, developers can send audio, video, images and text to users in the LINE app. Sending rich cards is currently in developer preview. You can request access here.

LINE and Twilio Studio

Studio’s visual drag-and-drop interface makes it possible to create, customize and ship communication flows in minutes. Whether it’s handling product inquiries, appointment confirmations or sending important notifications, Studio can power messaging experiences in LINE with no or minimal amounts of code. (1)

Developers can get to production faster using Studio to build the logic for their LINE messaging experience. Additionally, almost anyone can create, edit, and manage messaging flows in Studio, empowering folks outside of engineering to design and iterate on messaging apps. Developers don’t need to worry about flexibility, because they can still customize these Studio apps by adding your own code with Node.js based Twilio Functions, a serverless runtime environment.

LINE and Flex

LINE also works seamlessly with Twilio Flex, the programmable contact center platform. Flex is instantly deployable and infinitely customizable. It works out of the box while offering endless UI and workflow customization. Omni-channel capabilities are baked in — businesses that use Flex can install support for LINE with a single click, allowing their agents to serve customers in the LINE app.   

Get Started

To start with LINE through Twilio Channels, follow these instructions:

  1. Sign up for a Twilio account if you don’t already have one.
  2. Navigate to the Channels catalog in the console.
  3. Install LINE by clicking on the LINE tile and hitting the install button.
  4. Navigate to the documentation tab and follow the instructions to get started!
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