SNS and Video were big in Japan in ’07 – What’s next?

Social Networking Services, Blogs, and Video sharing became very popular in Japan in 2007. Some surveys show that some of these areas are already reaching the peak. So, what’s the next big thing in Japan in 2008?

We all talked about how popular SNS and video sharing became in Japan in 2007. As the rest of the world starting to pay attention to these as new means of marketing, “2007 Web services usage survey” done by hints that Japanese are already looking for the next “thing”.

According to the survey, BBS (bulletin board services), Net auction and surprisingly the Video sharing lost some popularity in 2007 from the previous year. And, people think that they’d spend less time on SNS sites in 2008. Also, it shows that Online shopping and Blog-browsing were two of the most popular online activities among the survey participants.

Ok… people shifted from Net auction to Online shopping, and from BBS and video sharing to SNS in this year, and now they want something new. So, what’s the next big thing for Japanese market?

While I can’t wait to see the next big thing for Japan, I’m thinking that personalization may become the keyword for these existing services to survive and even to grow in Japan, beside “mobile”. While I’m not a big fan of the personalized search, I think personalized SNS and Net auction would bring up their declining popularity. It would be a huge challenge for the providers as it means that they need to come up with different plans, solutions and services for each demographic. But it would worth the investment. Let’s face it, teens have completely different interests and takes on things than people in 40’s. It’s just like I don’t want to receive another vampire invites on facebook. I’m not interested in becoming a zombie, people!

Actually, SNS for limited audiences is already available in Japan. Businesses using it for employees and customers, colleges using it for students and teachers, and local governments using it for residents. And, they are getting great feedbacks from the users. If these services for smaller but very targeted market become more available, it would be a good news to us online marketers, too, as those markets are already defined. Well, maybe it’s my wishful thinking.

Happy holidays!