Twitter increases Japan focus

17 April 2012

TOKYO: Twitter, the microblogging service, is enjoying rapid growth in Japan and will continue to invest in the Asian nation in order to boost ad revenues.

Speaking during a visit to Japan, Twitter CEO Dick Costolo said that new user growth rates in Japan are "several percent" higher than the global average, and that Twitter will now "aggressively" increase its Japanese sales force.

The nation is the first in Asia to have Twitter brand pages, following a recent rollout. Brand pages, one of the service's initiatives aimed at boosting ad revenues, were originally launched in the US in December 2011.

Reports have since indicated that Twitter requires a payment of $25,000 from the advertiser for a brand page to be set up.

Figures collected by social media analysts at Semiocast indicate that Japanese is the second most widely spoken language on Twitter.

Japan had around 29.9m accounts at the beginning of 2012, behind only Brazil (33.3m) and the US (107.7m).

Despite this level of consumer takeup, an academic analysis released in February indicated that some 40% of Japan's biggest brands are still not active on Twitter, compared to 95% in the US.

Speaking to reporters in Japan, Costolo also indicated that Twitter does not plan to make major acquisitions in the near future, following Facebook's $1bn purchase of photo-sharing service Instagram.

"You can look at all sorts of other similar cases in the past when an event like this happens and people try to react to it," he said. "Copying it is never a good idea, at least history would say it's not a good idea."

Data sourced from Bloomberg/Wall Street Journal/The Next Web; additional content by Warc staff