TFG Learns About the Hottest App in Japan

TFG and Japanese Visit

In September we were fortunate to receive a visit from Aaron’s friend Natsuko Mochizuki, head of a PR/marketing firm in Tokyo called Moonlight Wave. Natsuko brought colleagues from two of her clients, Recruit Lifestyle, which is a subsidiary of Recruit Group, and Reckitt Benckiser JAPAN, the parent company for global brands that include Veet, Clearasil and Dr. Scholl’s. Over lunch at our office, we all got to know each other better. Our main topic of shared interest: social media best practices and trends.

Translating back and forth between English and Japanese, we discussed similarities and differences in social media use in the U.S. and Japan. Unanimously, our Japanese peers agreed that Line, a social messenger phone app, is the most widely used app among millennials in their country. Indeed, Fast Company has described the Line app in Japan as a “culture-changing, revenue-generating phenomenon,” landing it a spot in the magazine’s Most Innovative Companies list. The app offers free messaging, video and phone calls, which address the shortcomings of other communication/social platforms. At one point during our discussion, Kazuyo Sugisaki, who works for Recruit, leaned across the table to show us the “stickers” or fully graphical emojis available to send on the Line app. We loved them! According to TechCrunch, Line’s user-generated “stickers” market made a whopping $75 M in the first year.

Stickers on Line App
© TechCrunch

In the U.S., social messaging apps are also massively popular. The Fearey Group team members had many things to say about the potential of Instagram and Snapchat, both of which harness the power of images to communicate. Over the past few years in the U.S. we have seen brands jump into social platforms such as Snapchat, previously used for 1-to-1 conversations, to visually share their story with a larger audience. Social media companies are finding creative advertising opportunities, and brands are jumping on board.

TFG and Japanese Visit

Before lunch was over we each shared our favorite smartphone app. Check out what was shared below.

Favorite smartphone apps:

  • Glympse (Location-sharing app similar to Waze)
  • Mercari (Buy and sell items from your phone)
  • Line (Free messenger app)
  • Stellar (User-created photo stories)
  • Antenna (Curation magazine app)
  • Overdrive (Free online books)
  • Happify (Self-improvement/personal skills learning)
  • VSCO Camera (Photo editing)
  • Peatix (Event and ticket creation)
  • Line (Free messenger app)
  • Smart News (News curation)
  • Tinder (Online dating)
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