Japan’s Top Social Media Platforms for 2024 – 9th Edition

LINE, Youtube, and X top the Japanese social mediea market. Tiktok is growing but not at the speed of other markets.

Posted By Jim Kersey

Last Updated: February 22, 2024

Yet again, Japan’s top social media network is LINE with over 95 million users and over 85% of the population using the app every day.

A long-standing preference for X (formerly Twitter) over Facebook, as well as the modest size of LinkedIn’s user base, are two more striking examples of how the Japanese SNS landscape is set apart from the rest of the world.

In our 9th report, we not only explore such quirks but also shed light on the “why”—outlining the most important data and digital insights available right now, all grounded in real world experience from our Tokyo office.

For an explanation of how we draw our conclusions at Humble Bunny, head to the bottom of the page for our methodology and sources, otherwise, let’s dive in!

Table of Contents

Japan’s Digital Landscape in 2024

Japan's top social media networks SNS landscape data 2024

With a close eye on what’s happening in the US and Europe, emerging patterns and behaviours on social media platforms in the West are often quickly adopted and advanced.

Yet, the nation is also famous for rejecting global trends and carving its own path—instead playing a trend-setting role in the regional context with its own set of distinctly Japanese styles, technologies, and platforms, such as LINE.

Reasons for this are many, but include the nation’s uniquely monocultural society at 97% ethnic Japanese, contributing to a highly attuned sense of national identity and a collectivist way of interpreting cultural trends.

Learn More About Japanese Consumers

Japan's top social media networks SNS secondary landscape data 2024

In addition to spending over 2,000 hours working, individuals in Japan’s major urban hubs such as the greater Tokyo metropolitan area (where one third of the population resides) spend 70+ minutes commuting to and from work or school. And the majority of this is done using trains and buses on the nation’s efficient public transport network.

As such, social media serves as a vital lifeline, allowing these long journeys to be used for catching up on news, connecting with friends and family, keeping abreast of societal trends, and engaging with online communities.

Monthly Active Users by Platform

*Tap or Hover on the graph below to see details.

Source: Statista, LINE, NapoleonCat, DataReportal

A change to the way certain advertising platforms have published recent user data makes it difficult to draw a direct comparison to our platform ranking last year.

However, although the table above offers a slight reshuffle, a holistic view of available data from a wide range of sources allows us to reasonably suggest platform popularity remains relatively consistent with 2023.
LINE is still the most popular communication app and LinkedIn is still only used by a small proportion of the nation—both things that set Japan apart.

Meanwhile, Facebook’s popularity remains relatively low compared to other channels (also bucking global trends) and, as predicted, TikTok is a growingly powerful channel in Japan, especially among Gen Z.

Key Behavioural Trends in 2024

Japan's top social media networks SNS behavioural trends 2024

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LINE Japan

Japan's top social media networks SNS LINE data 2024

LINE is Japan’s most famous super app, offering an array of features that go beyond communication alone. The app’s ecosystem now encompasses LINE Games, LINE Manga, LINE Shopping, LINE Pay, LINE Today (News), and more.

However, it initially gained popularity in the wake of the 2011 earthquake that resulted in thousands of deaths and an almost nuclear meltdown of the Fukushima Daiichi. During this time, the platform was developed as a simple way to facilitate communication between families using internet-based connections rather than the usual telecommunications infrastructure that was destroyed by the disaster.

Many took to LINE (over 50 million in the first year), partly as a way to stay connected in the event that phone lines dropped. Over 10 years on, its relevance remains strong in a country where natural disasters are always a possibility, with its usage also spiking during the start of the pandemic.
Importantly, LINE’s approach to localization has played a pivotal role in its popularity. The app regularly releases region-specific stickers, themes, and games that resonate with Japanese pop culture, seasons, and festivals.

By constantly adapting its content to align with local trends and preferences, LINE creates a sense of familiarity and cultural relevance that is simply not rivaled by other messaging apps like the globally popular WhatsApp, strengthening its appeal among Japanese users.

LINE Demographics

Japan's top social media networks SNS LINE demographics 2024
Source: gaiax-socialmedialab * Data updated in 2022

With such a large user base, covering over 70% of the Japanese population, it’s no surprise that its demographic breakdown is spread fairly evenly—somewhat mirroring the demographic breakdown of Japanese society on the whole.
LINE’s vision is to become an all-encompassing hub serving the digital needs of all ages. For instance, it now offers more classic social media features such as LINE Voom (similar to Instagram Stories), media timelines, and news sections.

LINE Manga, which can be accessed through the LINE messaging app or as a dedicated app, has also become Japan’s largest digital comic service offering users an easy and convenient way to read manga and graphic novels while on the go.

Top LINE Trends in Japan

Japan's top social media networks SNS LINE data 2024

Predictions for 2024

We expect even more businesses to leverage LINE Official Accounts as a customer service and retention tool. These accounts provide them with a direct channel to communicate with users, enabling them to share updates, promotional offers, and interactive content directly with their followers.

Features like chatbots also enable businesses to automate customer interactions and provide quicker responses in a nation that values customer service.

The benefits of LINE Ads are becoming more widely known too. And although many foreign brands entering the Japanese market may prefer using Meta Ads, its huge user base and the evolution of its advertising services are an attractive proposition.


Japan's top social media networks SNS YouTube trends 2024

While not a traditional social media channel, YouTube’s role as a platform for consuming and sharing video-based content is formidable in Japan. It is often at the heart of trends that go viral across the nation, such as Mukbang, a popular online phenomenon in the Asia Pacific where individuals, known as hosts or broadcasters, consume huge quantities of food while interacting with their audience.

The likes of Amazon, Disney+, and Netflix have done well in the region, yet YouTube remains Japan’s most used platform, partly thanks to its free-to-use nature but also for the sheer diversity of content you can find here, ranging from educational videos and daily news to anime and comedy.

In fact, many households in Japan consume content on YouTube as a kind of substitute for TV (aided by the widespread use of smart TVs and strong WiFi connections).

YouTube Demographics

Japan's top social media networks SNS YouTube demographics 2024
Source: Statista

We’ve seen YouTube’s age distribution shift largely towards younger users over the last few years. A growing number of contemporary vloggers and YouTube stars pull in huge numbers of fans under 30.

Notably, the act of seeing someone appear on YouTube frequently is the number one reason among men aged 15-24 for trusting influencers and celebrities, with 42 per cent stating this as their primary reason for doing so in a 2023 survey.

In a nation with a low level of trust for organisations, vloggers and YouTube stars provide an unfiltered way to track current events and learn about the world. From daily events coverage to product reviews and unboxings, YouTube plays a vital role in the online experience for many Japanese.

Most Popular Streaming Services in Japan

Japan's top social media networks SNS YouTube trends 2024

Top 5 Influencers on YouTube

Japan's top social media networks SNS YouTube trends 2024

Predictions for 2024

YouTube’s influencer network will continue to expand. brands will continue to look for ways to capitalise on the attention received by various channels by sponsoring the individuals and groups who own them to feature their content or products.

In line with the expected growth on other platforms, YouTube influencer marketing is predicted over the next few years (reaching 48.7 Billion JPY by 2027)—driven by consistent user numbers and a recognition of the power this method of marketing can have when it comes to changing people’s perceptions and purchasing choices.

In addition to this, we expect to see more reviews, unboxings, ASMR, anime, food porn (Mukbang genre), gaming, live-streaming and prank-based content do well on YouTube in 2024.

HB Pro Tip: Advertising in Japan? Using YouTube video ads at the start of your sales funnel can drive much better performance overall, especially when you are launching retargeting campaigns. Just make sure you feature plenty of domestic appeal and include local models and environments to improve engagement.

X (Twitter)

Japan's top social media networks SNS X (Twitter) data 2024
Despite several changes to the Twitter platform (now X) since its acquisition by Elon Musk, as well as the launch of Threads—Meta’s new microblogging alternative—it is still a cornerstone of Japan’s social media landscape.
Dominating over Facebook in terms of popularity (another reality that differs from the global norm) Japan is X’s second largest market after the US. Below are a few reasons why:

  • X (Twitter) has become an essential source of news and information in Japan, made even more effective by the fact that so many of the nation’s politicians, thought leaders and notable figures are highly active users. It is common for users to first hear of major events or government policy updates on X rather than traditional TV broadcasting outlets.
  • 45% of social media users in Japan prefer to be anonymous on social media, keen to voice their opinions and concerns online but reluctant to do this under their own real name. The X app has always offered better online anonymity compared to Facebook while still allowing people to engage in online conversions and stay in the know.
  • X (Twitter) offers a vibrant ecosystem in Japan, with millions of tweets going out each day from all kinds of users ranging from politicians and celebrities to comedians and famous gamers.
  • Over 92% of the Japanese population live in urban areas and spend a huge amount of time on busy public transport. X’s smooth mobile UX and bite-size chunks of content make it easy for users to get what they want quickly, while on the move.

X (Twitter) Demographics

Japan's top social media networks SNS X (Twitter) demographics 2024
Source: Statista

X’s growing popularity across a wider range of ages in Japan has prompted brands, influencers, and marketers to consider the channel as a way to connect with audiences, both young and old.

The prominence of politicians and government spokespeople on the app has brought many older users to the platform, historically considered almost unreachable on Twitter.

The delivery of fast (sometimes immediate) updates and news about important issues in Japan, especially related to natural disasters or, as we have seen recently, guidance related to Covid-19, makes it a tool that many people see as indispensable.

Top X (Twitter) Trends in Japan

Japan's top social media networks SNS X Twitter trends 2024
Source: Statista

Predictions for 2024

Twitter remains one of the most powerful social listening tools in Japan. By carefully monitoring conversations and looking for key trends and themes, brands and marketers can better understand the way people think and feel across a range of topics.

We haven’t seen advertisers scared away from using X as an advertising channel to the same extent as other markets like the US, where brands like Chevrolet, Chipotle, and Ford discontinued their Twitter Ads following several controversial individuals having their accounts reinstated under Musk’s “free speech absolutism” policy.
That said, decorum and etiquette are key principles in Japanese culture and communication. If a lack of moderation or reliable user verification fundamentally changes the kind of standards users can expect, it may not be surprising if this changes the popularity of X among certain user demographics.


Japan's top social media networks SNS Facebook data 2024

Facebook’s role in Japan is similar to that of LinkedIn in other countries. With a modest following, its user base is made up largely of working professionals using the platform as a networking tool.

You’ll find a huge number of senior-level professionals using it as well as official business pages, which makes it an active space for B2B selling of professional services and products.

Although this year’s figures are slightly distorted by a change to the way Meta has reported user numbers and advertising reach, it is clear that Facebook still has a much lower user base overall when compared with other markets. A few reasons Facebook “failed” to capture the Japanese market are:

  • When it first launched in Japan, its real name policy and model of open sharing and interconnected social circles made it harder for users to remain anonymous. Many were concerned about invasion of privacy and were reluctant to engage in online conversations when there was a chance their colleagues or bosses may be able to track their actions.
  • Due to the above, the escapism element of social media was reduced, making users more self-conscious when interacting with other accounts and content. And for many, not having an account was preferable to having one and being overly cautious in how it was used (a problem not presented by Twitter).
  • Facebook’s interface and language have not always been as user-friendly for Japanese speakers. The platform’s early versions were primarily in English, which posed a barrier for native Japanese speakers. Better efforts to localise UI/UX and features can be seen on other platforms like LINE.
  • In the end, Facebook has never been able to recover from its lack of growth velocity in the initial months and years after launching.

Facebook Demographics

Japan's top social media networks SNS Facebook demographics 2024
Source: NapoleonCat *2023 Data

A lack of younger users is one of the most notable trends on Facebook in Japan. And there’s no doubt that with visual platforms like TikTok capturing people’s attention through video-based content, Facebook has found it even harder to both attract and retain a younger audience.

That said, the platform’s combined user reach with Instagram and its advanced targeting options still offers a viable option for brands looking to reach specific groups of people with paid social media ads—especially working professionals with higher disposable incomes.

Top Facebook Trends in Japan

Japan's top social media networks SNS Facebook trends 2024
Source: Statista 2021*

Predictions for 2024

LINE and TikTok offer new opportunities for advertisers to reach younger audiences with brand content and ads, however, those in the B2B sector will still find Facebook the perfect space to make connections with high-value customers and clients.

Although reforms have been made in this area, age (years of experience on the job) is still a primary determiner of someone’s income, rather than skill level or qualifications. One result of this is that older demographics are often the most viable target groups for more expensive products and services.

Knowing this, businesses will continue to use Facebook as a strategic way to connect with working professionals over 35, making up almost half of the platform’s total users.

Also, we still see Facebook as an important tool for providing social proof to prospective customers engaged in pre-purchase research. The fact that Facebook uses real names also makes reviews and ratings much more credible and many Japanese shoppers still use it as an important stepping stone in their digital purchasing journeys.

Wondering How to Convert Facebook Users into Loyal Customers?


Japan's top social media networks SNS Instagram data 2024

Japan has a rich visual culture and Instagram has always aligned well with this. The emphasis on photos and videos allows users to express creativity, share experiences, and showcase their interests visually, making it appealing to individuals who appreciate visual storytelling.

The platform is also powerful when it comes to solidifying wider trends in fashion and lifestyle in Japanese society. As a highly collectivist culture where standing out isn’t as cool as it is in other countries, Instagram has become a central way to verify what’s cool and what’s not.

Also, Instagram’s pleasing UX on mobile phones and the introduction of new video features (Reels, IGTV and Stories) give the platform more modern relevance, allowing people and brands to publish candid glimpses into real life and behind the scenes.

Instagram Demographics

Japan's top social media networks SNS Instagram demographics 2024
Source: NapoleonCat *2023 Data

Instagram has a younger user base than Facebook and even X (Twitter) in Japan. It also has a strong following of users interested in fashion, beauty, food and entertainment. As such, it is often seen as the necessary counterpart to Facebook for brands wanting to use the Meta Ads platform to target younger users with paid social media advertising.

Both domestic and international brands are highly active on this channel and have invested an increasing amount of money into influencer marketing (a now flourishing segment of advertising in Japan).

The country’s relatively low population and the fact that celebrities don’t typically have a presence that goes beyond the region mean follower numbers for top Japanese Instagram influencer accounts generally tend to be lower than in other nations.

While Japanese pop culture is incredibly influential in Asia Pacific (Korea, Japan, Indonesia), cultural nuances and references specific to Japan are not readily understood or appreciated by a global audience, affecting the relatability of content.

Similarly, Japanese influencers hold a much stronger sway over their domestic audiences’ opinions and purchasing decisions than international influencers and celebrities.

Top Instagram Trends in Japan

Japan's top social media networks SNS Instagram trends 2024

Popular influencers, models, celebrities, and niche content creators have been a powerful magnet for users, however, we have seen brand and company accounts among the platforms most followed accounts for many years. This includes the likes of Japan’s most famous car manufacturers, Toyota, Honda and Nissan.

Predictions for 2024

A few trends we expect to see on Instagram in Japan this year are:

  • Even in Japan which sometimes seems removed from the world stage, Instagram’s role as a space for advocacy, activism and engagement on global issues is growing. Following conflicts in Europe and the Middle East, combined with the increasing attention on climate change, many use the platform for learning about various social and political issues and being part of the wider conversation.
  • Video content continues to become even more important on Instagram. Specifically, the popularity of reels has skyrocketed thanks to the promotion and prioritisation of them through the platform’s algorithm, as well as the positive reception and escalating engagement from users in Japan.
  • We expect to see even more collaborations between brands and digital creators. From beauty and gaming to tech and food collaborations, the impact of these partnerships is undeniable and most businesses recognise the result they can have on product sales and brand awareness.


Japan's top social media networks SNS TikTok data 2024

Tiktok grew 15% from 2023 from 18 million monthly active users.

A trend-orientated, video-first platform based around videos of 15-second intervals, maxing out at a total of 60 seconds, TikTok is a crystallisation of a long-term trend—people demanding more user generated video content. In a nation of limited free time and short attention spans, and where bite-sized media space segmentation is widespread, the direct and high-impact nature of TikTok has fueled its success. A few more reasons why TikTok has been so popular in Japan are:

    • The ability to access content without going too “deep” into topics or themes as other social platforms do, such as X (Twitter). This is appealing for many younger users who want to engage in social media use in a more lighthearted and exciting way.
    • Short videos are easier and quicker to consume than lengthy text-based content. Users can quickly scroll through multiple videos in a short amount of time, allowing for a diverse and dynamic viewing experience while travelling or on short breaks.
    • TikTok actively localizes its content to suit the preferences and cultural nuances of its users. By featuring region-specific trends, challenges, and music, it creates a sense of belonging and cultural relevance—fostering a deeper connection with the platform.
    • The platform’s appeal to younger generations, coupled with the rise of influencers and content creators on TikTok, has led to the formation of a vibrant creator community. Influencers often set trends, shaping popular culture and driving engagement among young audiences.

Convert Using TikTok Ads in Japan – A Crash Course

TikTok Demographics

Japan's top social media networks SNS TikTok demographics 2024
Source: Statista *2022 Data

Again, this year’s numbers show us that TikTok is still the best online space to reach Japan’s GenZ. The application enjoys a penetration rate of 58% among people aged 13 to 19 years old!

Many brands are concerned that it can be incredibly difficult to produce the kind of content that does well on this platform. However, for brands that have succeeded in partnering with digital creators, a huge amount of interest can be built among Japan’s youngest demographic of SNS users.

Top TikTok Data and Trends in Japan (1/2)

Japan's top social media networks SNS TikTok trends 2024
Japan's top social media networks SNS TikTok influencers 2024

Predictions for 2024/25

With the platform’s continued success and the prominence of TikTok-style trends making their way onto platforms like Instagram, we’ve seen a gradual migration of older users venturing into TikTok territory to see what all the fuss is about. This is likely to continue as more people get over their initial hesitancy and embrace its appeal.

For marketers, the challenge has been to adapt processes and content to match the unique style of TikTok. It is now widely recognised that the most effective content on this channel is user generated and brands must be strategic in their partnerships with digital creators.

Although paid ads are notoriously harder to set up here than on platforms like Meta Ads, partnerships with popular individuals already catering to huge audiences is a great way to create engagement quicker than any other platform, especially if your product and/or content serves the needs of a younger audience.

Other SNS Platforms in Japan

A few less popular SNS channels that we believe are still worth a mention are below.

Threads Since its initial peak in summer 2023, the global popularity of the X (Twitter) alternative, Threads, has declined. And the picture is very much the same in Japan. Although it has around 7 million users (5% of total users worldwide), most critics believe it hasn’t gained enough critical mass to have long-term success in the Japanese market—which often requires apps and services from abroad to gather higher levels of early stage growth momentum to secure long-term success (or risk becoming another Facebook).
LinkedIn LinkedIn simply isn’t home to anywhere near the volume of potential contacts, networks and businesses as you’d find in other markets for this SNS channel. Some attribute this to cultural factors such as Japanese professionals being less inclined to showcase all their achievements and career milestones so openly (perhaps considered “showing off”) or the preference for traditional face-to-face relationship building. .
Ameba Ameba is a micro-blogging site, similar to platforms like WordPress but with a few quirky twists, such as customisable avatars that allow users to socialise with other users in digital environments. Although it has a loyal base of users, X (Twitter) is Japan’s number 1 space for micro-blogging.
Pinterest Pinterest is used in Japan by a small but strong base of designers, artists, and people looking for creative inspiration.

Key Insights

Japan's top social media networks SNS key insights 2024
Japan's top social media networks SNS key insights 2024

Japanese culture places a strong emphasis on privacy and personal space. This cultural value often translates into a more reserved online presence, with users being cautious about revealing personal information, engaging with strangers, or sharing their opinions publicly.

This tendency can lead to lower engagement in terms of liking, sharing, and commenting on content, especially if it involves people outside their immediate social circle.

Ultimately, communication with others is a primary reason for using social media for many who may be less inclined to use online channels for interacting directly with brands or influencers.

Japanese users often prefer private messaging platforms like LINE, where interactions are more intimate and personalised. It is likely that this preference for one-on-one or small group conversations has also led to comparatively lower engagement in more public spaces like Facebook, Instagram or X (Twitter), where posts are visible to a larger audience.

Japanese users often prefer private messaging platforms like LINE, where interactions are more intimate and personalised.

Interaction with Brands on Social Media

Interaction with brands on Japanese social media networks in 2024

Japanese users tend to prioritise interactions within their existing social networks, leading to fewer engagements with accounts that are not directly related to their immediate circle. As such, they might be more selective about following large numbers of accounts, preferring quality over quantity in their online connections.

Most Used Type of SNS Platform

Most used types of social media platforms in Japan 2024

Most Common Reasons for Using Social Media in Japan

Most Common Reasons for Using Social Media in Japan

Japanese Social Media Trends in 2024

Most Common Reasons for Using Social Media in Japan

While not all specific to Japan, below are some key trends taking place in the Japanese SNS landscape in 2024.

Niche Digital Creators Are More Important

Digital creators are thriving. By tailoring their content to specific niches and communities and addressing the unique interests and needs of audiences, they foster engaged communities centered around particular topics, hobbies, or identities. What sets digital creators apart is their ability to share genuine, relatable experiences. It’s also common for individuals with modest followings to have the most engaged audiences, connecting authentically by divulging personal challenges, skills, and expertise, which cultivate higher levels of trust than traditional media figures and even larger social media influencer profiles.

Japanese SNS Remains a Primary Source for News

With the country’s strong distrust of organisations, it’s not that surprising that many people look to social media for their news and insights into world affairs. While mainstream broadcasting is still popular in Japan, social media and online communities are often the place people go for immediate answers on the latest news. The challenge for the user is learning how to best navigate misinformation and contrasting views amidst highly political and volatile topics, such as conflicts in Europe and the Middle East.

A Place to Voice Criticism and Concern

Japan continues to use social media as a safe space for voicing criticism about the government’s handling of various issues or global political concerns. Digital platforms are now a common substitute to protests and public gatherings in a nation where preference for anonymity is high.

Social Media As a Form of Customers Service

Brands operating in Japan are increasingly leveraging social media messaging apps as a customer service tool due to their accessibility, immediacy, and convenience. Apps like LINE enable real-time, two-way communication between customers and brands.

More Localization

We’ve seen through Humble Bunny’s own client base that businesses are now more open (and eager) to invest in localization when it comes to their social media activities in Japan. And we’ve seen first hand how powerful it can be to leverage local research before producing content.

For instance, our development of custom brand guidelines for DailyFX in Japan supported our ability to increase their Instagram followers by 30% MoM as well as increase their engagement rate by 16.3% MoM. Among other things, we did this by implementing a more casual and colourful design approach that was more suited to Japanese audiences.

Learn More About Our Work with DailyFX

Influencers Shape Cultural Norms and Social Trends

Influencers and high profile individuals continue to play a key role in both disseminating information and opinions relating to news and updates that affect their communities. Building on their increased authority and reputation since the pandemic, many influencers are considered highly trustworthy who have the power to shape cultural norms and social trends. In line with this, influencer marketing continues to thrive.

More Campaigns for Older Demographics

With Japan’s ageing, and shrinking population, combined with the fact that disposable income is the highest among older groups, dedicated campaigns for people over 45 continue to become more prominent. With greater numbers of older users now frequenting platforms like X (Twitter) and Facebook, we are seeing more brands produce campaigns that specifically target their interests and preferences.

Learn More About Japanese Consumers

Japanese SNS FAQs

Influencer taking video content for social media networks in Japan 2024

What do Japanese use for social media?

Here are the #1 media platforms used by social type:

  • Media Sharing: Youtube
  • Traditional Social (posting, commenting, interaction, etc.): X (Formerly Twitter)
  • Messaging: LINE (Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and WeChat are not common in Japan)
  • Short form: TikTok (Though Instagram and Youtube options are popular and growing in Japan)

What is SNS in Japan?

SNS is similar to what you see overseas–but the platforms used are different. There’s also a mix of media sharing (Youtube), chat apps (LINE), and traditional social (X, Instagram, Facebook, Etc.) in this market. SNS’ role in Japan is much the same. It’s a place for conversations, sharing, and interaction to happen. Of course its nuances and how the platforms are utilized is subtly different. This is where a strategy becomes importatn

Do I Need to Work with a Local Social Media Agency?

It’s possible to advertise in Japan through an agency in your home market, however, results may be more relevant, timely, and natural by utilizing an agency (and its in-country Japanese team) in Japan. There are lots of brands working remote, but the qualified feedback of Japanese people is that they often lack the touch (and sometimes trust suffers). Local teams also tend to have a better finger on the pulse for trends, booming social and cultural trends. This is because they are engaging with media from morning to night, constantly. Finally, since the whole team is on the ground experiencing Japan from morning to night, creativity and ideation sessions tend to be more relevant.

How Do I Achieve Engagement on Japanese SNS

When you take the time to really understand the kind of content users enjoy consuming on each individual SNS platform here, engagement can be incredible. Most platforms are now heavily saturated with high volumes of paid or sponsored ads, but if your content is good (creative, original, appropriate for your audience), social ads can still be your most important tool for growing interest in your brand in the way you’d always dreamed.

How Expensive Is It To Advertise On Japanese SNS?

Marketing and SM managers should understand that realistic budgets need to be set to generate enough conversion velocity if you want to see results. You are at least looking at a likely 10-15% increase on ad spend based on our experience.

Does Japanese Social PPC Work?

While it always depends on your specific product and goals, marketing on social media is still an important component for foreign brands entering the Japanese market and does work for companies who commit to the process. For instance, ecommerce success can involve a good level of initial brand building to support later stages of the customer journey such as retargeting and Google Shopping and Search Ads.

Do I Need to Adapt My SNS Strategy for Japan?

It’s still shocking how many foreign brands use the same approach to social media marketing here that they do for their other markets, despite knowing that the interests and behaviours of people are unique enough here to warrant fresh thinking and new social media strategies for any brand. As long as you commit to this process, success is achievable.


There have been some key changes made to the published advertising reach figures of individual platforms in recent months, making it difficult for us to offer reliable year-on-year statistics for social media users in Japan compared to our last report.

Nevertheless, we have substituted certain data points with the most recent information available from publicly accessible surveys, official company records, and government datasets. And where numbers alone have not been enough to paint a full picture of Japan’s most important social media trends, we’ve added our own understanding of the local context gathered from extensive social media marketing activities on behalf of our clients.


Need help gaining traction with your social networks in Japan? Let’s chat on how we can help.

Steal Our Best Ideas

Actionable insights straight from our data

Here are a couple quick discoveries we’ve pulled from the data of our latest projects. Why? To help you make the changes you need to gain traction in the Japanese market! As an agency, we are always digging deeper and searching for those little yet significant tweaks that will push our clients to the next level of success. If you need a partner to help you identify and implement changes like these on a monthly basis, let us know!

Facebook ad copy focusing on craftsmanship had 24% lower CPC and 33% higher CTR than ones focusing on corporate history Discovery card
By executing an aggressive keyword campaign with a super sale promotion on Rakuten traffic surged 207% Discover card
Including a CTA in the first half of our articled increased downloads by 111% Discovery card
Taking advantage of season and trending content increased engagement by 775% on Instagram Discovery card

About the Authors & Voices in this Article

Jim Kersey

Lead Writer
Jim has been an active researcher and marketing professional since 2015. Starting with a penchant for research and copy, he also has deep experience as a marketing head and even owner of his own agency. His experience includes a long stint with Humble Bunny and years upon years of experience with the marketing culture of Japan. Find Jim on Linkedin

Paolo Ragone

Editor, Contributor
Paolo’s marketing career started in 2014 including an extensive stint in Japan (where his heart truly lives and belongs, sorry ladies) of over 6 years. You may recognize Paolo from some of Humble Bunny’s Youtube videos. Find Paolo on Linkedin

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