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Facebook Looking for Japanese Friends

Published on October 29, 2010
by Yoree Koh

Sharing is caring, and by linking up with one of Japan’s biggest social networking sites, Japanese users are likely to be finally drawn to Facebook.

In contrast to its success elsewhere, Facebook has so far failed to establish itself as Japan’s most popular social-networking site. The company, with headquarters in Palo Alto, California, has thus decided to launch a cross-platform feature that will allow users of Facebook and Mixi, a popular Japanese social-networking site, to link to each other’s profiles. This also allows users to share links, videos and photos.

“We built this application using Mixi’s standard APIs available for all developers. Through this application, we hope to simplify connecting and sharing with friends across different social platforms,” said Facebook spokeswoman Kumiko Hidaka, adding that Facebook has similar applications in place with other internet services, including Twitter.

This is not an official partnership between the two companies. Instead Facebook has taken advantage of a new platform developed by Mixi last month that would allow its users to share information with other internet services. However, this new feature could raise Facebook’s profile in Japan where it has struggled to win over users from local rivals like Mixi and Gree. There are currently about 21 million registered users on Mixi while Facebook boasts over 500 million members world-wide. Facebook, which launched its Japan version in 2008, declined to disclose user statistics by country.

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