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Asia and Pacific Region Forum

Cyworld Japan closing its doors
August 21, 2009

 4:15 am on Jun 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

After pulling out of the US market last year [webmasterworld.com] Cyworld, Korea's leading SNS, is also shutting its operations in Japan [jp.cyworld.com]. Everything will be closed in Japan by August 21, 2009.

The closure notice mentions a server maintenance issue that apparently went awry back at the end of May. That may have been part of the impetus for them to leave, but another (Japanese) article indicates that they only attracted 100,000 members [internet.watch.impress.co.jp] in the 4 years they were in Japan. Despite their incredible popularity in Korea the Cyworld folks haven't had much luck translating this success outside their own country.


GrendelKhan TSU

 6:59 am on Jun 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

They tried to cookie-cutter, template, turn-key their product and services. Classic mistake for many companies coming into Korea as well as "going-outside the walls" of Korea.

they actually have a very interesting "ecosystem". Shame they couldn't get over themselves enough (or over their own fear of "opening up systems") to be more flexible for the relevant local markets.

that said, I hear Vietnam and China cyworlds weren't doing to bad. But don't quote me on that one. ~_^ heh.


 8:21 am on Jun 23, 2009 (gmt 0)

SNS is tough in Japan for any non-Japanese company. The most profitable one, GREE, is a paid mobile phone app. The one with the most members, Mixi, is almost a Facebook clone, except it's incredibly anonymous and still invite-only last time I checked.

These are nothing like the graphics rich Cyworld offering. The successful Japanese SNS seem very low tech in comparison.

I know that you've been telling us for years about how the Koreans have pioneered a lot of this SNS technology. It's unfortunate they haven't been able to translate it to a wider audience.

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