Japanese Blog and SNS stats from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications April 25, 2006Posted by fukumimi in IT, Japan.
Apologies for the rather stale nature of this post.
The Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) released its half-yearly statistics tracking blog and SNS user numbers on April 13th.
The MIC reports 8.68M registered blog accounts (at 53 of the major Japanese blog service providers), and 7.16M registered accounts on social networking sites (at 21 of the major Japanese social networking sites). (BSP and SNS lists are available on the Japanese version of the press release)
Rather predictably, meaningful analysis of the numbers is virtually absent in the press.
The MIC press release itself uses the term "登録者" which would be rendered as "registered users", but the word "user" is potentially misleading, as there is evidence that bloggers
Additionally, the number of active users is not mentioned. (In a report by the MIC last year, blog user numbers were given as 3.35M with 0.9M listed as "active" users as of March 2005)
At the Feed Business Conference held in March, the speaker from Technorati Japan mentioned that their data showed that for active users the average number of blogs they had was approximately two. I have 3 accounts at various BSPs provided in the list (all of which are dormant), and that doesn't include this blog. An acquaintance who is active in local politics (he is a councellor for the ward I live in) has 3 or 4 blogs mirroring the same content.
The same goes for social networking sites. I have accounts at Mixi.jp, Gree.jp and Yahoo!360 in various degrees of use, with accounts at several other sites as well.
Furthermore, Livedoor has begun bundling SNS accounts automatically to all new Livedoor accounts. (They announced that they had surpassed Gree.jp as the 2nd largest SNS, but I wonder how many users signed up to Livedoor for some other service and are counted in the statistics although they have never accessed the Livedoor SNS?)
It would seem that the published numbers need to be handled with care, especially since the number of sites surveyed has also changed since the last figures were published for Sept 2005.
Yet I have yet to see any reporting which mentions these caveats when talking about the blog and SNS trends. I wonder if the media thinks it would detract from the hype they are trying to generate?