What’s the difference between Facebook and Mixi? That’s a big question many regular (non-geek) social media users in Japan ask themselves and a challenge for Facebook Japan: if they think Mixi is basically the same as Facebook, there is no point in changing sides.
While I could easily write a book (no joke) about the differences between Mixi and Facebook, here’s what Taro Kodama, Facebook Japan’s Country Growth Manager, said in a recent interview with Nikkei Trendy.
The interview is (of course) in Japanese only, so here are some key points of what he said (paraphrased by me):
- Generally, Facebook isn’t in the same category as traditional, home-grown services like Mixi , GREE and Mobage-town because Facebook only is based on real names (making it a “real” social network).
- Facebook Japan isn’t just a website but provides an “infrastructure” (because of its APIs and the social layer it covers the web with).
- Metaphorically speaking, users shouldn’t think of a circle of friends but of a “business card”-like environment when it comes to Facebook (because Facebook shows real names and real connections people have).
These were just a few points Kodama made during the interview, which is pretty long (and interesting).
For example, Kodama also announced Facebook Japan will make use of the real name principle to cooperate with providers of online shopping, real estate, or travel services this year.