Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Facebook's "one identity instance" model hinders business in Japan

Facebook has made relatively modest inroads into Japan, and, as we know, is still blocked in China. Hiroko Tabuchi covered the progress of the company in Japan in a New York Times story Monday, Jan. 10, “Facebook wins relatively few friends in Japan”, link here.

Japan has several social networking sites, including Mixi and Mobage-town. But Japanese users tend to like to mask their identities or take on new persona, in contrast to Zuckerberg’s model of one “identity” (or one “identity instance” in object-oriented-language talk).

Japanese social networking sites are allowing external companies to develop applications for them, much like Facebook.

But social networking business models need to be ubiquitous, at least through the developed world, to be effective.

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