Facebook has more than a billion users worldwide and at the moment is the most successful social network in the world. However, Japan does not seem to follow the Facebook trend anymore, with local users showing signs of getting tired of it.
Facebook launched a Japanese version of its website in 2008. In the beginning, it had to compete with local sites produced by the likes of mixi, Mobage, and GREE. But after a while, when famous Japanese companies began to use Facebook as a marketing tool, it caught on with the general public and by the end of 2012 had 17.12 million users, the local press reports.
Only five months later, the number dropped to 13.78 million, a 19.5 percent drop in less than half a year.
Users in Japan have started to post complaints saying the social network is becoming boring: “Recently, timelines are just full of the same people boasting about their lives, I have got no interest in looking at that anymore,” writes one of the users.
Additionally, LINE, an instant messaging app for smartphones and PCs, is experiencing huge growth in Japan, surpassing 41.51 million users there, and 150 million worldwide since its launch June 23, 2011. “LINE is so easy to use, I am tired of Facebook, it is too much of a pain,” said one user.
“Facebook will rapidly depopulate this year in Japan. It is said that people grow tired of SNS sites in about three years; that means the large number of users who registered out of curiosity in 2011 will start to decline going forward. People have started to say things like, ‘Having to use your real name doesn’t go over well with the Japanese,’ and, ‘It’s just a place to kind of boast about your real life, which goes against the Japanese character.’ I think the site will see an exodus of users, and only those wanting to interact with foreigners or who have a connection or affinity with something or someone overseas will remain. Presently, Facebook appears to be beneficial in finding employment; however, companies will probably begin to reassess its value from now on,” wrote another user.