Japan’s Twitter is different

Twitter is a must-have for every trendy Japanese person. The social messaging service attracts many individuals for all sorts of purposes: friends use it to share their every day, to communicate with each other and businesses employ it as an advertising tool.

However, from a global perspective, Twitter seems to be in a slump. This article aims to shed light on how the average Twitter usage varies between Japan and the rest of the world.

Japan and Twitter

Twitter’s word restriction is 140 characters per post but rather than hindering communication the restriction encourages users to communicate effectively in Japanese.

In comparison to English, Japanese allows for even more economic sentences. (according to the Blogs of Suburb Director)

Let’s have a look at a tweet by Hitoshi Matsumoto, a famous Japanese

“An arrogant man and an annoying woman. When I imagine what they would have looked like when they were little… for some reason it makes me chuckle. Maybe they aren’t that bad after all.”

There are 151 characters in the English translation compared to only 58 in Japanese. This discrepancy allows for more content when communicating in

Japanese while English users might have to cut back.

Twitter for Sale

At the beginning of autumn 2016, Disney was rumoured to buy Twitter. Such
news was not unheard of. Google and Salesforce had also been named as possible buyers. In the end, Twitter remained unsold.

These rumours were accompanied by a significant rise in share prices.
Twitter’s market cap increased from 13 billion to 20 billion US$.

When in October it became apparent that Twitter was to remain unsold, the company’s shares lost almost 20% of their value in a week. This signifies a decrease in 2 billion US$ in terms of market cap.

Twitter’s Japanese Galapagos Syndrome

The rest of the world seems to be losing interests in Twitter. Japanese user
numbers seem to buck the trend.

The graph below visualises three years of MAUs and app possession numbers from 2013 to 2016:

Data Source: App Ape Analytics (based on 30,000 android devices/Active numbers were estimated by App Ape). Data Source: App Ape Analytics (based on 30,000 android devices/Active numbers were estimated by App Ape). MAU (Monthly Active Users: number of users who have opened the app at least once/month). Possession number: The number of users who have the app installed at a specific moment in time. This is different from the installs number as the installs number indicates the total installs since the app launch.

Both lines show little change throughout, but Twitter is definitely growing,
particularly from the beginning of 2016 onwards.

Despite struggling worldwide, Twitter stands strong in Japan. It is truly
experiencing Galapagosisation.

Summary — And outside Japan?

Even though Twitter is experiencing a tough time worldwide, Japan is an exception. The true reason may be hidden in the Japanese culture and its unique intricacies. Twitter might want to look into its Japanese success if the company want to make a comeback to other markets in future.

For this article, I used App Ape Analytics. App Ape Analytics makes it
possible to access gender ratio reports, MAUs, DAUs, active ratio reports and so on. We would be delighted if you gave our free version a try!

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