Twitter’s Future In Japan Is Looking Bright

Twitter’s revenues in Japan have grown following the growth in the subscriber base, the improvement of advertising options on the social media platform as well as the growing use of video by both advertisers and users. Earlier in the month the microblogging platform indicated that its sales in the Asian country had increased by 34% in the final quarter of 2017 to reach a figure of $106 million.

The success Twitter has encountered in Japan of generating revenue from its user base has raised hopes in some quarters that the microblogging platform has found a formula that will lead to company-wide broader growth. However analysts and investors have pointed to factors that are specific to Japan and which have contributed to Twitter’s success in the country.

Innovating locally

According to Asatsu-DK’s Ryo Sakai, Twitter has not copy-pasted its strategies in Japan from the United States but has been innovating at a domestic level. This has included responding flexibly to the request of advertisers.

“I get the impression that Twitter has, in the past year or two, been responding flexibly to advertisers’ requests,” said Sakai.

Additionally Twitter’s user base in Japan has grown. In October the number of Twitter users in the Asian country were 45 million having grown from around 40 million a year earlier. According to ad industry executives the reasons for this include the fact that the microblogging platform allows aliases. And in a culture which is outwardly reserved, the idea of tweeting appeals to the Japanese.

Video ad options

Twitter’s growth in Japan has also been assisted by the fact that it has provided advertisers with video advertising options and thereby acting as an alternative to the likes of Facebook. During the Pyeonchang Winter Olympics for instance video views on Twitter saw a remarkable growth in audiences. In contrast Facebook has not been able to dominate in Japan like it has done in Europe and the United States.

For every Japanese user on its platform Twitter makes $2.36 while in the United States it makes $5.97 for every user according to data the microblogging platform released for 2017’s Q4. Statistics from Nielsen shows that the mobile user base of Twitter in Japan has continued on the uptick in the course of the past 18 months. During this time Facebook has faced struggles in its bid to increase the number of app users. And compared to Facebook, Twitter is more popular with Japanese students above 18 years of age. With this demographic Twitter’s market share is 75% while Facebook’s is 25%.