Social networking services in Japan never really put much emphasis on chatting for several reasons: even the biggest homegrown social network Mixi (2121) waited years before releasing such a feature in 2012.
Mixi’s move was caused by the meteoric rise of LINE, and other social services reacted as well: GREE (3632) released a chat called GREE Messenger, which was later renamed to Tellit and subsequently shut down after test runs in selected countries failed.
DeNA (2432) rolled out comm, a LINE competitor, in October 2012. comm was designed to be a product separate from gaming platform Mobage first, even though DeNA later started mixing the chat app with game content.
It has become very silent about comm since, but DeNA on Friday released yet another chat service, Mobage Chat.
As the name suggests, this product integrates with the Mobage platform: players can use the app (a separate download on Android) to talk about games while they are playing them. Users who are offline also receive chat messages in the form of push notifications and can jump back into the game when they can.
The goal is to further strengthen the social element of Mobage games and make them more sticky.
DeNA says that for some games, special chat rooms (with customized wall papers) can be used. Needless to say, players can also exchange stickers (showing characters from Mobage games) to convey emotions.
Mobage Chat is currently Android- and Japan-only.