The situation of leading services
Earlier development of social networks
The Japanese social media landscape was initially shaped by domestic services, such as Mixi and GREE, which were both introduced in 2004. Prior to the spread of smartphones, a considerable number of people in Japan were used to being connected to others due to the availability of featurephones, which also made it possible to play games or blog online. Services like Mixi and GREE recorded increasing user numbers until the beginning of the 2010s, in which they were gradually supplanted by their competitors. Facebook and Twitter started their Japanese language versions in 2008, with Instagram following in 2014, and TikTok in 2017.