SNS, Blog and Video – the Japanese way

SNSs, blogs, and video sharing trends in Japan with some stats. With mixi and Nicovideo’s success, Japanese are one of the most active Internet users in the world.

According to Impress R&D’s “2007 Internet White Paper”, 82,266,000 Japanese, which was more than 60% of Japanese population, were online as of Spring 2007. It also shows that more than 50% of Japanese Internet population are on broad band.

NetRatings’ reported last year that more than 2 million Japanese were using YouTube as of March 2006. It also showed that Japanese visited more frequently and spent more time on YouTube than any other countries in the world. Having the broad band connection, and more phones with video viewing/recording capability definitely helped Japanese to go YouTube crazy.

Then, Japan’s own video sharing site “NicoNicoDouga” ( opened this year, and became the most popular video sharing site in Japan with more than 3.42 million registered users in Sept. 2007. What did make it more appealing to Japanese? The comments function. Instead of just sharing the videos, you can communicate with other users through comments. The site has more of “community” feel than “business” like feel, which is appealing to many users.

Technorati published the blog reports in April 2007. According to the report, Japanese is the number one language used to post blog in the world. (Japanese: 37%, English: 36%, Chinese: 8%, Italian: 5%, Spanish: 3% …) Note that many blogs in Japan are “journal” type blogs talking about their daily lives, etc., but I see that more and more business/information type blogs are created by individual, businesses and organizations.

Back in 90’s, before blogs, videos and social networking sites, Japanese were crazy about creating their own personal web sites. While Japanese worried about privacy and fraud on Internet, they liked sharing their thoughts, experiences, etc., and most of all, they liked to connect to their friends and family on Internet. Visiting friend’s web sites to read their new pages and to leave comments on BBSs in daily basis. Just when we were getting board with doing the daily chores, the SNSs came, and we all jumped on it, particularly “mixi”.

It was great. You could connect and communicate with all web friends at one place. You could also create communities within the communities to “belong” groups that match to your interests. These SNSs are all equipped with blog, photo and video sharing function, as well as reading news, etc. But, the hype has to die down sometime. The latest report shows that page view on mixi went down in August for the first time.

So, what’s the next big thing that meets our needs to belong and to share our opinions, experiences and interests.

In the meantime, blogs and SNSs are finding new audiences in businesses and organizations. They are using it to inform and to communicate with employees and customers. It’s a step up from good-old news letters that only push the information.