This comes after the dismissal of several inaccurate reports that Facebook Japan is going down because of the tough competition against other Japanese social networking sites produced by companies such as Mixi, Mobage and GREE. Other popular services such as messaging services LINE and KakaoTalk, also have a strong presence in Japan.
The good news that Facebook Japan is witnessing an exponential jump in monthly active user (MAU) is also accompanied by the international news that the company shares topped its IPO price at US$38.50 following strong earning reports in its Q2 reports, prompting COO Sheryl Sandberg to sell some of her shares, . This represent a nearly US$20 billion in market value gained over one day.
“This strong growth can partly be attributed to Facebook’s mobile ad revenue growing significantly, representing approximately 41% of the total ad revenue, up from about 30% in Q1,” said Sheryl Sandberg in the shareholder’s factsheet. Because of the compelling ROI that Facebook ad products have been giving marketeers, Mark Zuckerberg has also said that they will now spend more time improving the quality of the ads.
Likewise in Japan, Iwashita has revealed to the Nikkei that Facebook Japan plans to double its sales force in the coming year to boost the local ad business and also start advertising the social network on TV in this country. Something that is not new in Japan, TV advertising has been an effective catalyst for social services and games in marketing their games. Social services such as LINE has even invested in TV advertising outside of Japan in countries such as Singapore, India, Taiwan, Spain, and Indonesia.
This move would not only mean increase in user adoption rates, it could also mean extra avenues for ad revenues for Facebook in general. However, the only skepticism is whether TV advertising can offer competitive ROI compared to Facebook’s News Feed and mobile ads. It would also be harder to track and create community engagement with TV advertising. If this advertisement model can grow outside of Asia, it would be interesting to see how the medium can innovate and mature just like News Feed and Mobile Ads did.