Line prepares for official API launch

Line prepares for official API launch

Platform to help developers scale apps

Mr Zhao said the platform can solve the problem of app overflow.
Mr Zhao said the platform can solve the problem of app overflow.

After opening its Application Programming Interface (API) for developers and startups, Line Thailand will officially introduce the API platform next month.

The API platform was designed to help startups and developers scale their applications and shorten time to market, said Xinming Zhao, head of engineering.

Mr Zhao said the platform can solve the problem of app overflow, with developers creating and putting their applications on the platform, getting better opportunities to engage with Line's 42 million users nationwide.

"Instead of taking time working it out on their own, startups can be supported by Line's technology, engineering and expertise," he said, adding that the platform provides an easier, more open entry point.

Mr Zhao said Line's API platform will not compete with, but complement developers.

On the API open platform, there are several features available to startups and application developers, including Line@ accounts, Official Accounts, Line Man, Line Today and Line Taxi, he said.

Last year, the company informally opened up its API on two levels -- Official Accounts and Line@ accounts.

Managing director Ariya Banomyong said that with more than 100 Line@ API users, the company is opening up to help build and develop more startups.

Mr Zhao said the company needs to ensure the services Line releases through Official Accounts are scalable and provide a good user experience.

As a result, he said the company has thus far been selective in who it works with.

"If a developer's service proves scalable, Line will be more than happy to help them scale, by upgrading them to an official account," he said.

Mr Zhao said it's hard to disclose how many startups have sought to work on the API, but added there are a variety of features, including business-to-business applications, that users can employ on the platform.

"Line would like to be the primary app for users. They can do everything through only one app," he said.

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