Facebook Tries to Become Big in Japan

Facebook may have almost 600 million users, but in Japan, they can't see what the fuss is about. The more rigid, and more private, Japanese people shy away from real names, posting photos or any real information about themselves -- a far cry from the "Look at me!" nature seen on most of Facebook.

Only 2 percent of Japan's population use Facebook compared to 60 percent in the United States. Instead, most prefers other social networking and gaming sites, like Mixi, where their anonymity is paramount. Many say that use that anonymity to express their views, unlike the rigid Japanese workplace. From the New York Times:

In her five years on Mixi, she has never uploaded a photo of herself.

She has heard of Facebook but says she is suspicious of “how open it seems.”

“I don’t want to give it my real name,” Ms. Ueda said. “What if strangers find out who you are? Or someone from your company?” She spoke on the condition that her Mixi user name would not be revealed.

Facebook is experimenting now with content tailored to the Japanese in hopes of gaining momentum and Japanese advertising.

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