Their own social networks
The division of social networks into sub-groups means that the networks connect the public more precisely. The people of Japan and their unique culture have enabled the hatching of networks that are, on the whole, only used by the Japanese. The major players, such as Facebook, are practically unused in the country and are disregarded in favour of sites such as Mixi, Gree and Mbga. Mixi, which allows a user to open an account by providing a Japanese cell phone number, currently has over 21 million users. Gree, which is aimed at the young, has recently become the most popular social network in Japan with 21.25 million registered users. The success of certain social media is linked to the considerable interest that the young Japanese have in video and online games. MGBA, the leading site in this regard, is one example of these social media that targets a very specific audience and that achieves success. In comparison, Facebook is used by less than 2 million Japanese.
The weak popularity of Facebook in Japan can be explained partly because Mixi and Gree have functions that are very similar to those offered by the American giant. The Japanese adaptation of Facebook however, is not enough to convince the young to use this network. Mixi and Gree, being Japanese products for the Japanese, understand more the tastes, customs and interests of its users. It is thus normal that these networks are more popular in Japan.
Several communities are created within these social networks based around a specific interest. Each network has its own audience that is often specifically targeted: white-collar workers, women, young people, fans of online gaming, etc. As a result, it is important for companies wishing to communicate with their customers to establish a presence on all major social networks. This allows them to further understand potential customers and to create loyalty among their current customers.