Mixi, Japan’s largest Facebook-type social network service, today announced that they would change their ashiato(footprint) service from June 13th.
Mixi’s footprint is a feature to show you which your network friend browsed your page (profile, diary, photo, etc.) at how many seconds/minutes ago.
By this, Mixi in early days acquired users stickiness, by making polite Japanese users worried, like “oh, my friend A read my diary 5 minutes ago, I will be impolite if I will not leave footprint on her page”.
Also, after the East Japan Earthquake, this footprint worked well for people to check if their not-so-serious friends had come back online.
The release said that the feature will be remodeled to “the last week visitors” list, less real-time. Here is the sample image of the planned new page.
Mixi explains that footprint is not so important nowadays as some of Mixi features like Mixi Voice (microblog) does not mark footprints, and Mixi Iine(Like) covers some light communications with your friends. But I can not see why they have to make it less real-time at this point.
This kind of change must cause lots of refusal responses if it was done, say in 2005, however, I have not observed them both in Mixi or outside.
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