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Most popular social networks in Japan 2020, ranked by reach

When it comes to audience reach, the messaging app LINE reigns supreme among social network users in Japan. While globally leading networks such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook do get their fair share of popularity within the Japanese social media market, LINE’s audience reach is more than twice as high as those of other platforms, peaking at approximately 84 million monthly actives users in Japan during the second quarter of 2020.

What makes LINE so popular?

The success story of messaging service LINE, a Japanese subsidiary of South Korean internet powerhouse Naver, started back in 2011 during the Great East Japan Earthquake. While most conventional communication channels had broken down due to power failures, official sources as well as private individuals turned to online options for communicating news and confirming the safety of friends and family members. The app was released for public use later that year, appealing greatly to Japanese consumers due to its unique and customizable design, allowing both private and business usage simultaneously. LINE’s annual revenue rose from under seven billion Japanese yen in fiscal year 2012 to over 227 billion yen in fiscal 2019, laying down the company’s major success in numbers.

How do Japanese use social networks?

Compared to its neighboring countries, the Japanese market had a relatively low active usage penetration rate of about 65 percent in 2020, being noticeably outpaced by Taiwan with 88 and South Korea with 87 percent audience reach. As of January 2019, internet users in Japan spent an average of 4.8 hours per day consuming digital content, with young Japanese aged 18 to 34 using up to six hours of their time every day for online media consumption, including social networks. According to a survey, the leading reasons for using social media among younger generations are the convenience of gathering and sharing information, as well as connecting with friends and colleagues.

Most popular social networks in Japan as of July 2020, ranked by audience reach

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Release date

July 2020



Survey time period

July 2020

Number of respondents

4,000 respondents

Method of interview

Online survey

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Statistics on "Social media usage in Japan"

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