mixi, one of the biggest social networks in the world, and the largest in Japan, is introducing a ‘social pages’ feature today. No doubt inspired by the success of pages in Facebook, the new service will allow users to look at ‘pages’ for businesses and individuals, and also will allow for ‘public’ pages. This is a change for the usually (and very Japanese) private social network, where a login and confirmation is necessary to see anything on the site.
Will this be a huge boost for the network, which boasts 15 million active users? When Facebook Pages debuted the first time, there was definitely a gold rush to secure a page for your brand, but because there were on individual URLs, there were an entire crop of fake pages created for brands like Pepsi, and the ‘Pages’ idea didn’t really take off. It wasn’t until it’s 2nd launch, where Facebook ensured that companies and brands could have their page verified, and changed the layout to be more similar to a regular profile, that users understood how to use them.
I’d say that now, pages are still halfway there, even on Facebook. It’s easy to ‘like’ a page and follow its content, but the integration with user interests is still a little wonky. If I write “Green Day”, in my interests, it links to some sort of hybrid Wikipedia page, rather than Green Day’s page, which is obviously the place where I can get real news and updates on the band I like.
We’ll be watching to see how mixi’s pages go. A footnote here is that Involver, an American social media marketing app developer, is powering the mixi pages.