Twitterers in US and Japan

By Anne Collier

Micro-blogging via Twitter has really taken off in Japan. In fact, proportionately more Japanese than Americans tweet: 16.3% of Japan’s Internet users vs. 9.8% of the US’s, according to an article in the Washington Post. Compare that to Facebook use in Japan at only 3% of Net users vs. 62% of US Net users also using Facebook, the article cites Nielsen research as showing. Japan’s No. 1 social network site, mixi, and Twitter are neck-and-neck, the Post article says, with between 9 million and 10 million monthly visitors each. As in the US, Twitter has a bunch of uses in Japan, from casual communication among friends to keeping in touch with relatives to marketing and reaching out to customers. What’s different is that a lot more communication can fit into 140 characters in Japanese than in English, so the micro-blogging isn’t quite as micro. [The Pew Internet & American Life Project has slightly different figures for US Twitter use, having this past spring put the percentage of US adult Net users who the service at 19%. Pew compares that to Twitter use by teen Net users at 8%. Breaking teenage use down by gender and age, Pew found that 7% of boys 14-17 and 13% of girls 14-17 use Twitter, while 4% of boys aged 12-13 and 5% of girls 12-13 do.]

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