Japan Adores Twitter, Remains Wary of Facebook
We’re well aware that not all social networks are created equal (when was the last time you logged onto your Myspace account?), but it’s also true that different cultural environments also render some social networks more fit than others.
Case in point: last month, Japanese Twitter users logged the most-tweeted moment of all time, tweeting a groundbreaking 143,199 tweets in one second upon the airing of the Miyazaki film Castle in the Sky. This was far from a fluke — Twitter has long been popular in Japan.
Facebook, on the other hand, has fought an uphill battle to gain traction among Japanese users— a difference that speaks to the cultural fit of each platform in the country.
Twitter lets users self-efface, some have suggested, while Facebook is about the humblebrag—a major offense in traditional Japanese culture. When Japanese social networkers can enthuse about things that interest them—anime, games, music—without drawing attention to themselves, they seem glad to engage the broader world. But they are often uncomfortable being forced to broadcast their name and face. Homegrown Asian cyber social spaces have known this for years; Western ones might do well to understand.
Read the rest here, including the linguistic characteristics of Japanese that benefit Twitter, an analysis of how Japanese users tweet, and what this all means for platforms hoping to gain ground around the world. (TL;DR: Not all cultures are as narcissistic as ours, and social networks should take note.)
Image: Rising Sun Flag + Twitter, Viralblog