Mobile Social Networks in Japan

An interesting look at Social Media use on mobile phones in Japan by Alexei Poliakov, with some comments below courtesy of Random Wire.

* The Japanese mobile market is highly saturated (89%) with modest growth (4%)
* Japan leads in 3G with over 95% penetration and most people (85%) have data plans
* 85% of users access the internet with their mobile – 60% to play games
* Use primarily for blogging, gaming and messaging
* Home-grown social networks rule the market (but Twitter / Facebook usage growing)
* Marketers must target mobiles as the main vehicle for serving ads
* In Japan read user identity is often hidden behind virtual avatars
* Premium content and ad sales equally contribute to revenue
* Japanese SNS’s have been slow to create API’s for their party developers

Clearly Social Networks and Social Media in Asia is dominated by local players who, although partly inspired by the success of western services, have diversified their offerings to suit local tastes and interests. Outsiders will find it hard to compete in this space but may utilize the tools they offer as a platform for targeting their users. Detailed research will be necessary to understand the incentives for participation and engagement to gain and maintain trust. Mobile and gaming are also big factors here with a greater emphasis on having fun and the form factor content is consumed on playing a major role in its consumption.

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