Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) has officially surpassed 19 million monthly active users in Japan, putting it well ahead of domestic rival Mixi, which has been spinning its wheels in the past year or so at around 15 million. Serkan Toto points out today that this figure comes directly from Facebook Japan’s country growth manager Taro Kodama during Social Media Week here in Tokyo.
I think this is interesting for a couple of reasons. Most importantly, of course, is that it shows that Facebook is growing well in Japan, a country where some thought early on that it would fail due Japan’s unique distaste for using real names on the internet. Facebook’s growth before the 2011 earthquake was indeed modest, although in the wake of that tragedy many people apparently realized the value of a social network that reflected real world connections, as growth would accelerate after that.
This new data point also clarifies recent confusion that Facebook’s user numbers in Japan might be plummeting by the millions, as indicated by Social Bakers, which pulls data from Facebook’s own ad tool. The latter (and by extension the former) probably shouldn’t be trusted for anything more than a general guide . Such headlines spring up for other countries occasionally too, and it’s best not to make too much commotion when such ‘user drops’ occur.
Photo: via Facebook Marketing Japan (blurred for ironic anonymity)
As far as general guides go, I think it’s a pretty good one. ↩