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Social networking site Gree becomes Japan's no.1
Gree combines gaming with networking to overtake Twitter, Facebook and mixi
Social networking site GREE has overtaken Japanese social networking giant mixi to become the leader in the market, according to an investigation by Asiajin. GREE's financial report released on August 13 revealed that 21.25 million users had signed up by the end of July 2010, narrowly more than the 21.02 million members on mixi.
By May 2008 mixi, founded in 2000 and considered a more comprehensive version of Facebook, had 80 percent of the market share in Japan. But Mobage Town soon became its biggest competitor even though it could only be accessed from mobile phones. Mobage Town allows users to create their own character living in a virtual room that can be decorated in various ways. It now has 20.48 million users.
GREE founder Yoshikazu Tanaka featured in our own Tokyo Hot List thanks to his endeavors, which have led him to reach 24 on the Forbes Japan's richest list this year, with an estimated US$850 million in value.
Twitter had 5 million users as of February 2010 but has received a lot of press in recent months as its popularity has soared in Japan. Yukio Hatoyama, the former prime minister, has over 670,000 followers as of today.