Twitter not that popular in Japan


Have you ever used Twitter? graph of japanese statisticsThis recent survey from iBridge Research Plus and reported on by into the web tool of the moment, micro-blogging, found that certainly for the sample used, there are very few Twitterers in Japan.


On the 11th of May 2009 300 members of the iBridge monitor group completed a private internet-based questionnaire. 51.7% of the sample were male, 22.7% in their twenties, 26.3% in their thirties, 24.7% in their forties, 21.7% in their fifties, and 4.7% in their sixties.

Despite me having a Twitter account and far more followers than I would expect to have, I never use the thing and quite frankly find the fascination with it inexplicable. In addition, it destroys the link structure of the web as everything gets routed through abbreviated URLs, and given that a lot of people use third-party tools to access Twitter, I don’t get full tracking of my incoming traffic.

I can confidently predict that Twitter or other micro-blogs (blogging in less than 200 characters per entry, a sort of blog for SMS) will not take off in Japan until they support emoji.

Research results

Q1: Have you heard or read about Twitter? (Sample size=300)

Yes (to SQ)12.3%

Q1SQ: Have you ever used Twitter? (Sample size=47)

Used to use it, but not now2.7%
No, never86.5%

Combining the two we get:

Q1+Q1SQ: Have you ever used Twitter? (Sample size=300)

Used to use it, but not now0.3%
No, never10.7%
Don’t know what it is87.7%

Q2: Have you heard or read about micro-blogs? (Sample size=300)

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  1. apeescape said,
    May 20, 2009 @ 03:52

    Twitter might take off if celebrities start using the thing. Most celebrity blogs only contain twit-level content anyways and seeing how popular some are (see: Kamiji Yusuke), I can see Japanese people checking their keitai for the latest updates on their favorite celebs. Not that they don’t do this now of course.

  2. Mukei said,
    May 20, 2009 @ 13:46

    I found twitter totally useless and still could not find any interest in it.
    I am already using facebook and mixi and could not find see any thing worthy in twitter…
    if someone could help me ?

  3. May 21, 2009 @ 20:26

    That’s pretty interesting because in the past, Twitter used to brag about Tokyo compared to the rest of the world:

    “At the moment, traffic on Twitter from international destinations accounts for 60% of the volume worldwide (USA: 40%). 39% from the international traffic comes from Japan, with Tokyo being the most active “Twitter city” in the world.”


  4. Ken Y-N said,
    May 21, 2009 @ 23:00

    apeescape: I did think about talking about how the average celeb blog in Japan seems nothing more than a stream of mindless SMS-type messages written by a 15 year-old girl. But as I said, Twitter doesn’t support emoji…

    Mukei: can’t help you there!

    Adrian: That’s a good point – I remember before there was Technocrati mentioning there were more Japanese than English blogs (or posts, or whatever) but that figure was debunked as Japanese spam counted but English splogs were filtered out. Does the Twitter demographic and the iBridge Research Plus monitor demographic not intersect? Are there Japanese micro-splogging tools spewing every 2ch post onto Twitter?

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