Pixiv [JP], a Japanese-only “social illustration” network (Asiajin articles), today welcomed its one millionth member. The site boasts a healthy growth rate, as the user base stood at 100,000 in March 2008.
Pixiv claims the site sees 720 million page views monthly and that users submit 15,000 illustrations daily. It’s not hard to believe. Look at this pretty impressive Google Trends graph (especially after April 2009):
The idea behind Pixiv is to provide talented amateur artists with a platform to present their drawings to other people. Registered users can rate these drawings, write comments on them, bookmark them etc. The usual social network features are in place, too: befriending, profiles, messaging etc.
Here is a typical image (click for a larger view):
Premium members pay $6 a month to get a badge on their profile and some other benefits (judging from what I heard, Pixiv also attracts quite a few gaijin who can’t talk Japanese but somehow fight their way through the registration process).
Look here for a list of other social drawing services from Japan.