98% of Japanese in their 20s use SNS 20代の利用者は98% ―社会に定着するSNS―


Social networking service (SNS) is taking root in Japanese society in keeping with the spread of smartphones. According to the 2017 White Paper on Telecommunications released by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, people who use at least one of six major SNS portals like LINE, Facebook and Twitter accounted for 71.2% of the total population in 2016, sharply up from 41.4% in 2012. Approximately 98% of people in their 20s use those services mainly via smartphones.

SNS is a members-only online platform that enables its users to keep up and deepen their social relations with others. Major providers of such services include Facebook, the biggest in the world that is monthly used by more than two billion people, Twitter which allows its users to post and share short messages, and Instagram which offers similar functions primarily for video photographs. All these three are run by U.S. companies. Most popular in Japan is LINE which provides text chatting and phone services. The white paper says that more than 90% of Japanese in their 20s and 30s use LINE, which is run by the Japan subsidiary of South Korea’s NAVER Corp.

While those portals keep gaining popularity in many countries across the world, China has developed its own version of the social media. A report by Toyo Keizai Inc. said Weibo and WeChat, developed by Chinese companies, are quite popular in the country, which strictly limits user access to Facebook, Twitter and LINE. Of those two, WeChat (or Weixin in Chinese) operated by the country’s biggest online service provider Tencent Holdings Ltd. is rapidly expanding the number of its users. The company said in its business report that the total number of its active users reached 963 million in June 2017. WeChat does not simply offer message sending and phone services. According to the U.S. economic journal Forbes, its users can also call taxis, order food delivery, buy movie tickets, pay utility bills and make hotel reservations.
(Written by: Yuto Yawata)


SNSとは、人と人との社会的なつながりをネット上で維持・促進する様々な機能を提供する、会員制のオンラインサービスである。月間利用者数が20億人を超える世界最大のサービスであるFacebook、短いつぶやきを投稿・共有するTwitter、写真の投稿・共有を中心とするInstagramが代表的なものだ。日本で最も利用率が高いのが、スマートフォン利用者間でチャットや音声通話などを提供するLINE(韓国NAVER Corp.の日本子会社が運営)で、同白書によると、20~30歳代の90%以上がLINEを利用しているという。



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