A Brief Guide To The LINE Ads Platform

LINE’s in-feed advertising solution is maturing and becoming a viable alternative to its more famous social media relations. So it’s time to get familiar with the Ad Platform’s potential.

Why? LINE has over 70 million monthly active users (MAUs) in Japan—that’s more than 55 percent of the population. A healthy 72 percent of these are daily active users.*

What does this mean for you? LINE offers a fresh opportunity to connect with prospects and customers. In fact, LINE has a larger reach than any other social media platform in Japan, including Facebook (26 million MAUs), Instagram (12 million MAUs) and Twitter (40 million MAUs).

Ad spend going through LINE is projected to increase at a rate of 33 percent annually over the next three years. That’s a lot of new advertisers.

So, get ahead of your competition and start engaging your customers on LINE now—before they beat you to the punch.

Getting Started

To begin advertising on LINE you need a couple of things:

  • A LINE Account where you share updates and gain followers, much the same as a Facebook Page or Twitter Profile. All your ads on LINE will be associated with this account.
  • A LINE Advertiser Account, where you create and manage your campaigns. To create an Ad Account, you need to contact LINE directly or go through a partner agency.
  • If you’re an agency, you’ll need an Agency account where you can request access to and manage multiple line Advertiser Accounts.

Once you have all this set up, you’re ready to go.

Campaign Settings

LINE has one campaign type—link clicks. Whether this leads people to website or app is determined by the link you use in your ad. When you’re setting up a campaign, you need to select some basic campaign wide settings.

These include whether you want to use LINE’s autobid functionality or bid manually by CPM or CPC; optimize for CPC or CPA; use image or video creatives; the start and end date; and the monthly and daily budget for your campaign.

Audience Targeting

LINE enables you to target users with a few key options, similar to Facebook and Twitter.

Firstly, a person’s mobile operating system and version (all LINE ads are mobile based).

Secondly, a person’s Interests, as determined by their usage of the LINE apps. These categories include Beauty, Business, Car, Education, Entertainment, Fashion, Finance, Game, Health, Home, Music, Shopping, Sports, Television and Travel.

Thirdly, you can use LINE’s Segments. If you’re familiar with Facebook Custom Audiences or Twitter’s Tailored Audiences, then Segments will be familiar to you too. Segments are lists of your own custom data created via your own CRM lists, app activity, or website visits (for website visit data, you’ll need to install the LINE pixel on your website).

Finally, as you would expect, you can target people based on simple demographic data. The demographics available include Gender, Age and Location (currently you can only target Japan and segment this by Prefecture).

Creating Ads

LINE ads have a few key elements:

  1. An image or video creative (you can only have one or the other in an individual campaign—no mixing or matching). Image creative sizes must be 144x144, 640x200, 640x320, 1200x628 or 1080x1080 and video creatives need fit the ratio 16:9 or 1:1.
  2. A headline that can have up to 20 characters.
  3. A description that can have up to 75 characters.
  4. A URL which will determine whether the ad is a regular web traffic ad or app install ad.
  5. An action button with one of a selection of different calls to action.

Bidding on LINE takes place at the ad creative, as opposed to the Ad Set or Ad Group level on Facebook and Twitter respectively. This gives you more control over which ad creatives you push for each targeting segment.

Your LINE ads will show in all placements within the LINE ads platforms, these include the LINE Timeline, News Feed and Manga Feed. LINE previously also had an external ad network called HIKE (similar to Facebook’s Audience Network) but this was retired in November 2017.

Additional Notes

Installing the LINE pixel is vital to make the most of the Ads Platform. It will allow you to build your own target segments and record on-site conversions—a necessity to both report results and optimize your campaign throughout its duration.

After you launch a campaign your ads will go through a manual review process. This means they will be checked by LINE employees to ensure they meet the required standards. Prior warning—it’s not quick. This process can take up to three working days, so ensure you launch your campaign ahead of its scheduled live date, or you’ll miss the first few days of your campaign.

At the moment, in-feed ads can only be run in Japanese language and target Japan. You’re allowed a few romaji characters in your copy, but make sure the bulk of it is Japanese language.


You shouldn’t ignore LINE, its audience reach alone forbids you. Your customers are there and you should be too. The Ad Platform’s a little raw at the moment, but it will grow in functionality and advertisers over the next couple of years giving marketers an added opportunity to engage prospects and customers. Don’t miss it. Start incorporating LINE into your cross-channel strategy, it can compliment your social, display and search advertising to create a more holistic customer journey and, therefore, a more satisfied customer.

* LINE media guide