Twitter sees revenues grow in Japan

03 September 2010

TOKYO: Twitter, the social network, is enjoying a rapid increase in revenue in Japan, where it runs a range of advertising services not available in the US.

The microblogging platform's Japanese arm is operated by Digital Garage, a Tokyo-based technology company, after the two firms formed a partnership in 2008.

Digital Garage recently released a medium-term business plan outlining the objective of driving up advertising and marketing returns from ¥812m ($9.6m; €7.5m; £6.2m) this financial year to ¥1.7bn by June 2011.

At present, Twitter has an estimated 15.1% reach among Japan's online audience, measured against 1.5% just 12 months ago, and a penetration of 18.6% on mobile phones.

It delivers around 700m advertising impressions per month on PCs, a total more than doubling every four weeks in the recent past, and a 100% sell-through rate.

To build on this momentum, Digital Garage will launch a PR campaign promoting Twitter outside Tokyo, which houses a large share of its membership, alongside working to attract brand owners.

Looking to commercial customers, the aim is to "support marketing of US advertising products in Japan and development support of products unique to [the] Japanese market," Digital Garage said.

Twinavi, an "official Twitter navigator" for corporations and celebrities, has also now secured over 5,000 account holders, serving 10m ads a month on PCs and 6m on wireless handsets.

"The popularity of Twitter is still far from weakening, with the number of visitors from PCs hitting 9.88m and outperforming Mixi in April 2010, according to Nielsen Online," said Kaoru Hayashi, president and group ceo, Digital Garage.

"Monetisation is also thriving, with the advertising space on the PC Twitter site for July immediately sold out as soon as it went on sale.

"The advertising space on the mobile version will soon be commercialized ... following the test marketing during the FIFA World Cup 2010."

Data sourced from Wall Street Journal; additional content by Warc staff