While Facebook continues to dominate the international market in terms of social network numbers, Japanese web users seem to be slowly getting disenchanted with it. From 17.2 million users in December 2012, the numbers five months later have dropped 19.5% to 13.78 million.
When Facebook launched the Japanese version in 2008, people were slow to catch on because there were already well established social network sites (SNS) like mixi, Mobage, and GREE. But then companies started to use Facebook for their marketing strategies and so their user base slowly increased until it reached their highest numbers in December 2012. But then the Japanese market is known for its fickle-mindedness when it comes to products and trends, and so this might just be part of the user disenchantment as newer apps and SNS become available. Some complain about the fact that you have to use your real name when creating an account, which apparently doesn’t go over well with some Japanese users who prefer to post anonymously or under pseudonyms. Others say that they see Facebook is just a place where people boast about their real lives, which also goes against Japanese character.
A SNS specialist predicts that the only Japanese users who will remain on Facebook will be the ones who have friends or family overseas. While companies still do their recruiting on Facebook, that will also stop once they see the numbers declining. Once data for 2013 gets in, we’ll better see if this is just a slight decline or a sign that Facebook in Japan is really on its way out of the hearts of SNS users.
[ via Rocket News ]