Report: Mobile Monday event – Google Japan’s take on the mobile web and mobile community Mikle

This month’s Mobile Monday Tokyo event was held at Google Japan‘s HQ in Shibuya (entrance fee: 2000 Yen/19 USD/12 Euro). As always, the venue was totally packed. The event is organized by Mobikyo.

It was not allowed to take pictures. Two presentations were given, followed by a networking session.

Solving big problems on small devices – Google’s approach to the mobile internet evolution

John Lagerling, Strategic Partner Development Manager at Google Japan, delivered the first presentation of the evening.

In essence, John talked about how seriously Google views the development of the mobile Internet. He said that “big G” regards the fragmentation of the wireless market as the main problem in the process: There are dozens of different operating systems in the world, various national carriers, thousands of handsets etc. However, Google apparently is determined to bring their search engine, online advertisement expertise and applications to mobile devices in an optimized version.

John went on saying that his company views the future of the mobile Internet in a bright light: Bigger handset screens, better networks and improved mobile browsers with full HTML rendering capability and AJAX support leave little space for excuses for software producers. Of course, Google’s very own Android was mentioned as a way to bridge the gap between the fixed Internet and the mobile web.

Leaving this Marketingese on the side, what I found interesting was a slide which illustrated mobile access to Google from Japanese users during the day. John said that people in this country like accessing Google (on mobile devices) particularly during lunch break, the evening news (around 6 pm) and before bed time. Contrary to popular belief, mobile web access in Japan cannot be reduced to usage during commuting on trains. According to John, that is, but I agree actually.

Driving Traffic and Monetization of mobile social media

Jaehong Lee, COO of Mikle Inc., spoke about his company’s mobile social media service of the same name.

The online community enjoyed a very healthy growth since its launch in November 2005. At the moment, 130 million page views are registered-monthly! In 2006, Mikle became the official community for Japan’s No. 2 mobile carrier au (KDDI). Not bad at all!

Jaehong explained not the service itself but elaborated on economic details. However, he said his company is proud to put serious efforts into keeping Mikle “clean” of spamming and insults. For example, users need to identify themselves before being able to post in the community boards.

Jaehong said Mikle integrated mobile AdSense in 2007 and that as a result, revenues doubled within five months. Also, Mikle users can add tags which lead to a separate search results page (including AdSense links) after being clicked on. The CTR in this case is six times higher than usual! Jaehong went on revealing the top key word on Mikle in terms of generating CTR is “music”. The highest CPC comes from the term “travel” while top eCPM can be gained from “music”, “travel” and “diet”.

Conclusion

Overall, I thought the event was not bad but I liked the one in April better (OK, an awards show is more spectacular in itself). Both presentations became interesting when the presenters went into details (Google: mobile usage over the time span of a day, Mikle: concrete results of AdSense integration).

There is no Mobile Monday event in May. The next one is scheduled for June 23rd, 2008.

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Dr. Serkan Toto is a German based in Tokyo. Like us, he is passionate about introducing Japanese IT to the rest of the world. Full-time, Serkan works as an independent web industry consultant for hedge funds, venture capital companies and start-ups worldwide. He is also a writer for mega tech blog network TechCrunch, covering Japan-related technology and web trends. This is Serkan's website. Follow Serkan on Twitter here.

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Serkan Toto

Dr. Serkan Toto is a German based in Tokyo. Like us, he is passionate about introducing Japanese IT to the rest of the world. Full-time, Serkan works as an independent web industry consultant for hedge funds, venture capital companies and start-ups worldwide. He is also a writer for mega tech blog network TechCrunch, covering Japan-related technology and web trends. This is Serkan's website. Follow Serkan on Twitter here.