Naver anticipates that the number of people using its messaging app, Line, will soon exceed 500 million, enabling it to compete with internationally popular services such as WhatsApp and Viber.
"Line users just crossed 450 million globally. Considering the speed of growth, it seems we can achieve our goal for this year faster than we initially expected," Lee Seung-jin, a spokesman of Naver said Sunday.
Naver CEO Kim Sang-hun earlier pledged to recruit more than 500 million users worldwide this year.
Thanks to explosive growth in the number of East Asian users such as Thailand, Taiwan, China and Indonesia, it took only one month to gain 30 million users more, the portal said.
The Naver spokesman attributed the success to the tremendous popularity of Korean TV drama, "My Love From the Star" starring Kim Soo-hyun and Jun Ji-hyun, although the app had been available before this was broadcast.
"Line is a new mobile platform that delivers multimedia services such as mobile games and even advertising," the official said.
He said that Kakao Talk is not regarded as a rival.
Since Kakao and Daum merged last month, the two companies have been expected to create powerful synergy, as the alliance allows Kakao to use Daum's infrastructure.
"Kakao talk is an excellent platform and it is so popular that almost every Korean using smartphones use the app," the spokesman said.
"Line is the one which has been gaining more presence in the global market," the spokesman said. Naver expects to have a productive competition, as Kakao Talk has its own decent platform as a messaging app.
Naver is also considering an initial public offering (IPO).
"We aim to promote the app in the global market to catch up with our competitors, and having an IPO is an option that we are definitely considering," he said.