Facebook, which spread like wildfire throughout the world, has had mixed results in Asia-Pacific, but it is gaining ground. South Korea has begun to come around, and now Japan seems to be next in line.
Despite a slow start, Facebook is growing fast in Japan. eMarketer estimates that the site reached 7.6 million users in the country during 2011, a jump of 61.6% over 2010. User growth is forecast to remain strong through 2012, at 51.5%, for a total of 11.5 million users by year’s end.
Still Facebook penetration remains low in Japan—the site is forecast to reach 12% of internet users and only 9% of the total population by the end of 2012. However, new survey data shows that users of the site are hooked.
According to a February 2012 Macromill survey of Facebook users in Japan, translated by What Japan Thinks, more than half (52.8%) of Facebook users in Japan accessed the site on a daily basis, while a quarter accessed at least twice a day.
What Japan Thinks reported that the percentage of users logging in twice a day or more tripled over last year’s figure of 8.6%. And users aren’t just logging on more often; they are spending more time on the site as well: 28% spent an average of 30 minutes or more on the site each time they logged on.
International expansion and user engagement are key to Facebook’s future, and both look to be improving in Japan. As reported previously, online ad spending continues to post gains amid the stagnant, if not deflating, ad market in the country. If Facebook can crack Japan’s market, which is largely mobile oriented and driven by competition from networks like GREE, mixi and DeNa’s Mobage, it could bode well for the site in the wake of a lackluster IPO.
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Check out today’s other articles, “Mobile, Social Boost Online Gaming Populations” and “TV Watchers Use Digital Devices to Multitask Online.”
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