Colin Barry

mixi (CSN, Monday, Week 10)


mixi: Our first case on a "friend" platform. A wildly successful Japanese blogging platform.

-- Much smaller than Facebook: avg = 27 friends => only add "strong friends;" exclude boss and ex
-- Fictitious names, fake photos
-- Still friends with strangers...

-- Lengthy diary entries: one paragraph or more, lots of comments
-- Expectation of privacy: see "footprints"
-- High impact/meaning to friends

-- Leaves footprints (imagine if you could see who viewed your Facebook profile): prevents stalking
-- Strangers can read...

Still "meet" elements even though it's a "friend" product...

Who uses this?
Narrow set of users, small proportion of Japanese population (18-27) => LOW virality
Typical of friend platforms: you don't invite everyone you know.

What is the appeal in Japan?
More normative bounds on behavior = more social failures
Hard to meet people, in-person friend interactions highly structured

On monetization:
Monetization is much easier on "meet" platforms than "friend" platforms. You can just charge --- it's really hard to meet new people.
Friend platforms must monetize indirectly: large user bases, depend on virality and/or high engagement.

On engagement (data from a several "friend" platforms):
-- Fully 70% of activity is stalking (reading about others).
-- Read is always controllable! Add footprints (or something like it).
-- Why is Facebook really appealing? Because it is really hard to be nosy in real life. But easy on FB!