Popular messaging app Line has added another spin-off app to its ever growing catalog — it’s called Popcorn Buzz, and it provides free conference-style voice calls. However, the highlight here is how many people you can add to your group chats. In total, Popcorn Buzz accepts 200 people in a single conference call.
The thought of trying to manage a group call with 200 people is terrifying, and we doubt that number will be reached all that often, but it’s a tempting proposition for more manageable calls — such as those between family and friends — and for businesses too.
To try and solve the problem of understanding who is talking in a large group of people, Popcorn Buzz shows a green indicator next to the person’s avatar. Adding new callers who aren’t already in your Line contacts is simply a case of sharing a dedicated URL.
Calls can be made using Wi-Fi, which will be free, and neither the app or setup process cost anything either. If you already use Line, then Popcorn Buzz can be accessed using the same account, and will see your existing friend list synced across. The app can also make calls across 3G and 4G networks, but this will obviously eat into your data plan.
Currently available for Android devices running version 4.0 and later, Line is working on an iOS app for release in the future. The company is also planning to add new features to Popcorn Buzz, including an expansion to group video chat, which will see it take on Skype and Google’s Hangouts.
Line is one of the world’s most used messaging platforms, but with ‘only’ around 205 million active monthly users, it trails the industry giants such as WhatsApp and WeChat. It differentiates itself with fun additional apps such as Popcorn Buzz, along with its many games including Disney Tsum Tsum, a mobile payments system, and the massive sticker collection it maintains.