>> These days, chances are if you're not talking, you're typing. Japan-based LINE, looking to capitalize on the global rise of messaging apps, announcing Friday that it plans an initial public offering in the US and Japan next month. The IPO, which could value the company at about $5.5 billion would be Japan's biggest this year.
Reuters Japanese Language Correspondent, Koyoko Gasha has witnessed LINE's popularity first hand.>> LINE is very popular in Japan, especially among young people. I think one of the reason they like it so much is that the instant message system. And then once it's read, it says read. So you can feel good that they already read your message.
>> But LINE may be past its peak. The company, which generates revenues from in app games, as well as through services like music streaming and taxi hailing. It is the number one messaging app in Japan, but it's seen slower growth. After seeing monthly active users triple over the last three years, that number grew only 6% in 2015.
Some analysts say it will be difficult to grow further.>> Of of the challenges that LINE face in Japan is that penetration toward older markets. Now older people still use e-mails and other methods over LINE, so how to penetrate into those market is a key point for them to have a very successful IPO in Japan, and maybe here in the United States.
>> LINE is planning to use the money it raises to expand abroad. Globally, it ranks only 7th. Well behind powerhouses WhatsApp, Messenger and WeChat.