Why Using Twitter is on the Rise in Japan

Posted in February 2017 by Bjol R. Frenkenberger

App Marketing

Recently, we published the article “Why you Should Use Social Media for Your App Marketing”, covering 5 Reasons, how the use of Social Media can help you with marketing your mobile app. Therefore, the guys of App Ape / Fuller, Inc. decided to provide us with more detailed insights into Twitter’s market state. Enjoy reading:

Japan’s Twitter is different

Twitter is a must-have for every trendy Japanese person. The social messaging service attracts many users 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.

Japans Twitter App Ape

However, from a financial markets perspective, Twitter seems to be in a slump. This article aims to shed light on how different Twitter appears when comparing Japanese usage numbers and stock market capitalization.

Twitter for Sale

At the beginning of autumn 2016, Disney was rumoured to buy Twitter. Google and Salesforce had also been named as possible buyers. These rumours led to a significant rise in share prices. Twitter’s market cap increased from 13 billion to 20 billion US$.

In the end, Twitter remained unsold. When this became apparent, 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. This was just the latest episode of a generally bearish stock price development.

The Twitter share price declined by more than two-thirds since its high in January 2014.

Twitter’s Japanese Galapagos Syndrome

While the financial world is losing interest in Twitter, Japanese usage is on the rise. The graph below visualises three years of MAU and app possession numbers from 2013 to 2016:

Twitter MAU App Ape

There is little change until 2015. However, Twitter is definitely growing impressively from the second half of 2015 onwards. Twitter stands strong in Japan and its user base is increasing. This is in contrast to its weaker evaluation on the global financial markets.

More Content for less Characters

Language seems to be a possible reason for Twitter trending in Japan. Twitter’s word restriction is 140 characters per post but rather than hindering communication the restriction appears to encourage users to communicate effectively in Japanese.

In comparison to English, Japanese allows for highly economic sentences in terms of character count.

Japanese comedian's tweet“An arrogant man and an annoying woman. When I imagine what they lookedlike when they were little… for some reason it makes me chuckle. Maybe they aren’t that bad after all.”

There are 142 characters in the English translation compared to only 58 in Japanese. This discrepancy allows for more content when communicating in Japanese. The use of Chinese signs (Kanji) which can often indicate a complete noun while only counting as one character makes this possible. English users would have to use more space to express the same.

Even though Twitter’s market cap is decreasing, the Japanese user numbers imply a positive trend. Besides language, further reasons for this geographically limited success may be located in Japanese culture. Twitter should examine its Japanese success, understand its own appeal and use this knowledge to become more successful in other markets.

For this article, we used App Ape Analytics.

Guest Author
Bjol R. Frenkenberger
Bjol is a global business manager at Fuller, Inc, the creators of ‘App Ape’. He is a classical pianist, well versed in anthropological theory and just loves things Japanese.

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