Social Apps Usage in Japan – LINE is the Winner

Social App Usage in JapanWhich social apps do you have on your smartphone? Twitter, Facebook, and Skype are some of the usual suspects in US. Would you be surprised if I tell you that none of these are the most popular social apps used via smartphones in Japan?

According to MMD’s “Business Person’s Communication Tool Research,” LINE came on top of list of the popular communication apps used for businesses in Japan. During the past 2 years, LINE grew rapidly and has become one of the most popular social networking sites and tools in Japan. However, this results (43.3%: using LINE for business communications all the time) was surprising to me, too, that I didn’t think it was largely used for business communications.

Of those 43.4%, who responded that they used it all the time, more than 62% are in 20-29 years old, 41% are 30-39 years old, and 26.4% are in the 40′s. It looks that there are huge generation gap in the LINE user profile, at least for the business use. 

Yahoo Japan’s SmartPhone App – SmartSearch

YahooJP SmartSearch On March 19th, Yahoo Japan announced it’s new smartphone app, “SmartSearch“.  “While how people use mobile devices, especially smartphones, and how people search have changed over time, the web search services and the result pages haven’t changed”, Yahoo said. This app is a step into providing the better search experience for smartphone users by shifting the concept of the search activities from “search” to “discovery”.

From what I’ve read and saw, this is not for people who want to find sites/pages with the information. This is for people who want to browse through the result pages to see the things trending or happening. The result pages seem to be the destination page, and not a bridge to the external sites. It’s a completely different search, umm, discovery experience.

At this time, the app is only available for iPhone from Apple’s App Store. They plan to release iPad version and Android version of app in near future.

China’s E-Commerce Summary 2013

China-ECommerce-Share In China, Business to Business (B2B) Small and Medium Sized Businesses (SMBs) are still the main force of E-Commerce growth in 2013, according to the report by iResearch Global. The report states that China’s SMB B2B continued to dominate the E-Commerce market share with the total revenue of 21.02 billion Yuan in 2013, which grew 25.8% YoY.
It also states that O2O and mobile-commerce will be the fastest growing segments in the next few years.

E-Commerce Market Share by GMV in 2013:

  • SMB B2B – 51.7%
  • Corporation B2B – 26.2%
  • Online Shopping – 18.6%
  • Online Travel – 2.3%
  • O2O – 1.2%

In 2013, eight major operators accounted for 62.3% of total platform service revenue of SMB B2B e-commerce operators in China. Top three players were Alibaba, Global Sources and HC360 which jointly captured more than half of the pie with a share of 42.3%, 6.2% and 4.5% respectively.