Here’s a short summary:
Rakuten opened the site in October 2010. Rakuten Recipe now has 40,000 recipes and a whopping 2 million users. Yahoo Japan Recipe has 3 million users, while Japan’s biggest recipe site, Cookpad (listed at the Tokyo Stock Exchange), boasts 8 million registered users.
Now Rakuten Recipe says it wants to overtake Cookpad’s user numbers by the end of 2011. I personally think this could happen not in 2011 but in 2012 if Cookpad doesn’t find ways to counter Rakuten’s user acquisition strategy.
There are 3 reasons for Rakuten’s success so far:
- Users providing recipes as well as those writing reviews get Rakuten Super Points (which can be redeemed on Rakuten’s shopping site)
- tight integration with online mega mall Rakuten (for example, users can buy ingredients via direct links on Rakuten)
- Rakuten’s size (70 million registered buyers) and brand power make it easy to cross-promote Rakuten Recipe