Mixi is one of the biggest social networks in Japan. They have over 15 million users, but the problem is that most of their users don’t give their real identities. This is where Facebook’s strength lies because their users are willing to publish a lot of their information and even 15 million photos per day.
The Associated Press gives an example about an individual of Kae Takahashi. Takahashi gives publishes pictures on MySpace with the clothes she designs and puts pictures of herself up on the site. But on Mixi, she doesn’t put her real information anywhere on the site. On Mixi, she says that she is an 88 year old named Christmas.
“The vast majority of mixi’s roughly 15 million users don’t reveal anything about themselves,” states Jay Alabaster of the AP.
YouTube’s Japanese users don’t often put videos of themselves on the site too. They put more videos of their pets. On Match.com, most of the Japanese users of the site put their real photos on the site. Whereas most U.S. users are happy to do so.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) has even attempted to run campaigns around getting pedestrians in Japan to put themselves in front of a camera that will make a YouTube video. It didn’t work out too well.
“We can’t change the mindset of Japanese people,” stated Tomoe Makino, a Google employee that works on partner development for YouTube Japan. “It’s the uniqueness of Japanese culture ? anonymous works in Japan.”
What do you think is more important: a site with about 1 million users, but all of their information is accurante or a site with 15 million people giving away false info? This is an important decision that big media companies need to consider when acquisition talks come up.