Explore Japan’s bustling digital realm, where social media and connectivity thrive. With advanced technology and widespread smartphone use, the Japanese market offers a vibrant landscape for SNS. Uncover user insights and exciting features in this article, as we navigate the dynamic world of Japanese social media.
SNS market overview
The SNS market in Japan has a large user base, with millions actively engaging on social media platforms. According to the ICT Research and Consulting Center Report, total SNS users in Japan exceeded 80 million in 2022, with a balanced representation of both men and women participating in social networking.
While SNS usage spans various generations, it is particularly popular among younger age groups, with high engagement from individuals in their late teens to early 30s who embrace the interactive nature of social media for communication, self-expression, and content consumption. This dynamic market caters to a diverse range of users, reflecting the evolving landscape of SNS in Japan.
Number of SNS users in Japan in 2022
In Japan, SNS serves multiple purposes for its users. It acts as a social connection platform, enabling users to stay connected with others. It also serves as a means of self-expression, allowing individuals to showcase their creativity and share their opinions. Moreover, SNS provides entertainment and information, offering a wide range of content and keeping users updated on trends and events.
Main purposes of using SNS in Japan
Source: ICT Research & Consulting Report
Top popular SNS platforms
In Japan’s digital world, there are five popular social networking services (SNS) that people love. These SNS platforms are LINE (messaging), X (microblogging), Instagram (photo and video sharing), Facebook (social networking), and TikTok (short-form video). Each SNS offers a unique experience, catering to different aspects of online interaction, content creation, and communication.
Top 6 popular SNS platforms in Japan
Source: ICT Research & Consulting Report
The popularity rankings of Japan’s top 5 SNS platforms frequently shift as user preferences evolve. As of the latest data in 2023 updated by Gaiax Social Media Lab, LINE has over 90 million monthly active users, making it one of the most widely used messaging apps in Japan.
YouTube came in second with close to 70 million users; while X (Twitter) has an impressive user base of over 45 million.
Instagram has gained momentum with over 30 million users, and Facebook maintains a strong presence with around 25 million users.
While this article was only meant to focus on the top 5, it cannot be ignored that the young number 6, TikTok, a newer player, has rapidly gained popularity with nearly 20 million monthly active users, captivating audiences with entertaining short-form videos.
LINE is a leading messaging app in Japan with a massive user base. It boasts over 80 million monthly active users, making it one of the most widely used communication platforms in the country. Known for its extensive features beyond basic messaging, LINE offers a variety of services including voice and video calls, stickers, games, and a digital wallet. Its popularity stems from its user-friendly interface, robust functionality, and the ability to connect with friends, family, and even businesses.
LINE in Japan
LINE in Japan provides valuable user insights, revealing a balanced gender split and diverse occupation backgrounds. Users come from various professions, including students, office workers, entrepreneurs, and homemakers. The platform attracts a wide age range, with popularity particularly prominent among younger generations (Gaiax Social Media Lab). This user base diversity demonstrates the widespread appeal and adoption of LINE as a popular communication and social interaction tool in Japan.
Read our recent study that talks about maximizing marketing opportunities on LINE Japan.
YouTube has established itself as a prominent platform in Japan, capturing the attention of millions of users. With a vast and diverse user base, it offers a wide variety of video content, ranging from music and tutorials to vlogs and entertainment. YouTube continues to evolve with new features like YouTube Shorts, allowing users to create and share short-form videos. Additionally, YouTube Premium provides an ad-free viewing experience and exclusive content access.
YouTube in Japan
YouTube in Japan provides valuable user insights, with a balanced gender split and a diverse range of occupations among its users. YouTube attracts a wide range of age groups, with significant popularity among younger generations (Gaiax Social Media Lab). This wide user base across genders and age groups highlights the broad appeal and widespread usage of YouTube as a preferred platform for content consumption and entertainment in Japan.
X, formerly Twitter, has established itself as a popular social media platform in Japan, connecting millions of users. It offers a unique space for real-time conversations, news updates, and engagement. Recently, X introduced new features like gold tick verification, allowing users to showcase their authenticity and credibility. Additionally, the platform has implemented “Birdwatch” fact-checking measures to combat misinformation and promote reliable information.
X (Twitter) in Japan
X in Japan provides insightful user data, showcasing a balanced gender split among its users (Gaiax Social Media Lab). When it comes to age demographics, X has a significant presence among both younger and older age groups, with a wide range of users actively participating in discussions and sharing their thoughts.
Facebook has gained significant popularity as a social media platform in Japan, connecting users from diverse backgrounds. It provides a space for users to connect, share content, and engage with others. In recent times, Facebook introduced the Meta Verified feature, allowing users to authenticate their profiles and establish trust. This feature enhances user credibility and promotes a safer online environment.
Facebook in Japan
Facebook in Japan attracts a diverse user base, with a relatively balanced gender split among its users. In terms of age demographics, Facebook caters to a wide range of users, encompassing both younger and older generations (Gaiax Social Media Lab).
Instagram has gained immense popularity in Japan as a visually-driven social media platform. It provides users with the ability to share photos and videos while connecting with others. Recent additions like Reels allow users to create short, engaging videos, while Lookback Review enables users to reminisce and share highlights from the past year. Trend hashtags further enhance the user experience, allowing users to discover and participate in popular conversations.
Instagram in Japan
Instagram in Japan attracts a diverse user base, with a relatively balanced gender split among its users. In terms of age demographics, Instagram appeals to a wide range of users, particularly younger generations, including individuals in their teens to early thirties (Gaiax Social Media Lab). This broad user base across genders, occupations, and age groups showcases the widespread popularity and creative appeal of Instagram as a visual-centric social media platform in Japan.
TikTok has taken Japan by storm, captivating users with its short-form video content. Its latest features, such as the Duet and Stitch functions, allow users to collaborate and interact creatively with others. The platform’s algorithmic recommendations ensure that users are constantly discovering fresh and entertaining content.
With the introduction of TikTok LIVE, users can now engage in real-time streaming and connect with their followers. TikTok’s innovative features and its ability to foster creativity and community engagement have solidified its position as a popular social media platform in Japan.
TikTok in Japan
TikTok in Japan attracts a diverse user base, with a relatively balanced gender split among its users. In terms of age demographics, TikTok appeals to a wide range of users, particularly younger generations, including individuals in their teens to twenties (Gaiax Social Media Lab).
By understanding and leveraging the unique features of each SNS platform in Japan, businesses can increase brand awareness, engage with their target audience, and foster meaningful connections. Staying updated on user insights and trends will help businesses adapt and cultivate strong customer relationships in Japan. Suitable marketing approaches will be addressed in future articles, providing valuable insights for businesses to maximize their presence on these platforms.
To learn more about Japan’s mobile market, visit the ASO index.