When on the never-ending quest to keep up with “what’s new,” sometimes it’s good to take a look at what other people are doing. I’ve decided to periodically take a peak into other parts of the world to gather “what’s going,” on with social media and how it’s emerging in their neck of the woods . This was an idea that was forged in the fires of necessity when I was on vacation and Facebook was my only lifeline to the outside world.
In this first edition of what I hope will become a series, we will journey to Japan to see what our fast-paced, super tech savvy friends are up to with social media.
Mixi is Japan’s leading social network. Rather, Japan’s leading social network that was founded in Japan. This year, a Nielsen ranking declared that Facebook has moved up to the top spot, with Twitter running in second, and Mixi in third. However, these figures are in dispute by Mixi, since the Nielsen report didn’t account for cellphone usage, which would put Mixi back in the running for number one.
The Mixi name means “I can mix with others.” To join mixi you must be invited by an existing member. The homepage displays your friends, a list of their favorite blog posts, photos, videos, and news from your community along with music sharing.
Mixi recently teamed up with Twitter, possibly to compete with Facebook’s rapid growth in the country and/or due to the massive use of Twitter in the wake of the tsunami that devastated Japan in March of 2011. Mixi and Twitter joined forces and rolled-out a Mixi X-mas 2011 page where users shared holiday messages and social gifts to friends. Mixi hopes to better integrate public information and conversation into it’s tight knit communities. “Had our services been connected during the disaster, we would have been able to provide much better service for our users, ” says mixi founder Kenji Kasahara.
Other social media outlets are making moves in Japan as well. Google+ teamed up with pop stars AKB48, LinkedIn partnered with Digital Garage, and mobile gaming networks GREE and Mobage gained over 20 million users each.
Will Japan’s social media services make their way to the U.S.? Time will tell and at this point, we can only speculate.
There’s no doubt that both Japan and the U.S. have fallen in love with each others products over time, but what about social media? Do you think the U.S. will adopt some of their social media trends?