With over a billion registered users worldwide, Facebook is the king of online social networking services. In Japan, however, there are signs that its dominance is starting to crumble.
Facebook launched a Japanese version of its website in 2008. Initially, the platform experienced sluggish user growth as it struggled to compete with already established Japanese SNS sites produced by the likes of mixi, Mobage, and GREE. However, after well-known companies in Japan began to use Facebook as a marketing tool, it caught on with the general public and by the end of 2012 had 17.12 million users.
A mere five months later, however, that number has dropped to 13.78 million, a 19.5 percent drop in less than half a year.