Movatwitter Has A New Owner: jig.jp Buys Twitter Client Operator Mindscope

Tokyo-based mobile tech company jig.jp today announced it acquired Mindscope, the startup behind popular Twitter client movatwitter.

movatwitter is Japanese-only, web-based and as such usable across various platforms, including smartphones, feature phones, the PC or handheld consoles like the Sony Vita or the Nintendo 3DS. Around 2009, Twitter’s official Japanese top page featured the app in its sidebar frequently (on the PC).

As a result, the service rapidly gained popularity in this country and now boasts 1.6 million users. Buyer jig.jp isn’t disclosing terms of the deal, but Cnet Japan says it learned that the company paid a few million dollars for Mindscope.

jig.jp’s core product is the so-called jig browser, one of the first in Japan that made it possible to view PC sites on feature phones. The company later followed up with a smartphone browser and also offers mobile video solutions, an RSS reader, a Facebook client, and two Twitter clients (dubbed “jig twi” and “twePUB”).

jig.jp was established in 2003, while MindScope was incorporated in January 2010 (movatwitter was available before the incorporation and is said to be Japan’s first mobile-friendly Twitter client that’s web-based).

Update:
On Facebook, movatwitter mastermind Shinichi Fujikawa says he will continue to work as Chief Technology Architect while looking for new challenges as well.

The 7th and Final Bonen Kaigi

Daiya Hashimoto and 100shiki’s Gen Taguchi’s annual year end event Bounen Kaigi (Year-forgetting party+meeting) was held at Yahoo! Japan’s headoffice, Roppongi Midtown, Tokyo.

This 7th anniversary, however, had been declared the last one.

2009 Ranking

As always, the two hosts made their (personal) year ranking what impressed them in 2009.

  1. MovaTwitter (Asiajin): unofficial Twitter site for Japanese cellular phone
  2. Lang-8 (Asiajin): Social language revision network service
  3. Joker Blog: a blog by Joker Racer (Asiajin)‘s RC manager
  4. Revilist: ISBN to Amazon review viewer site mainly for mobile
  5. Homerare Salon (Asiajin): a site to encourage you by using your name
  6. Bijin Tokei (Asiajin): an iPhone watch app to show current
  7. AppBank: a Japanese blog dedicated for iPhone application reviews
  8. TV-jin: social TV programs recommendation service by 2 channel data
  9. Nanapi: social tips sharing service
  10. Twitter (Asiajin): microblog service gaining presense in Japanese web

Yahoo! Japan’s search keywords session

The event sponsor Yahoo! Japan, as always, showed some interesting stats around their massive search queries. Some interesting topics for our readers,

  • YouTube’s growth is much bigger than NicoNico Douga’s
  • Mixi got a lot more search after Mixi Appli platform release
  • New communication sites grows including Pixiv, Facebook, Ameba Pigg and Nicotto Town

Special guests session

Best selling business books author Kazuyo Katsuma, and her friend, 90’s songwriter Kohmi Hirose, both are the most popular celebrities on Japanese Twitter, appeared and got open interview by Hashimoto and Taguchi.

Taguchi, who introduced Twitter earliest to Japanese tech-savvy people when there was SXSW 2006, asked Katsuma how much Twitter is promising in Japanese web. Her answer was it would fail in a year unless Twitter Japan gets 10 times bigger mas. She said TJ has to lower hurdles for newcomers by, for example,

1. to attract people interested in entertainment (concert, etc)
2. to bridge politicians and people gap

The hashtag of the event is “#bk2009″.

See Also:

Co-organizer Gen Taguchi’s event report [J]

Twitter Japan Teasing Special Mobile Site For Japanese Cellphone

twj-gives-teaser-url-screenshot

Twitter Japan’s official twitter account tweeted to give an URL under their official twitter navigation site twinavi.jp.

twitter-japanese-cellphone-teaser

It looks like that this teaser page is for newly coming Japanese cellphone compliant mobile website for 3 major carriers, NTT Docomo, KDDI au and Softbank Mobile. Months ago Twitter Japan announced that they would develop a special version which handles Japanese cellphone web dialect properly, which is currently covered by third-party mashup service like MovaTwitter and Movatter, in this autumn.

The generic mobile site m.twitter.com is pretty unpopular here.

The text on the page, “1x.10.09” can be read in several ways, if in North America, November 10th. If Europe, October 1xth, which is very soon. In Japanese style, it means October 9th 201x.

So if the teaser designer correctly understands Japan market, mobile version development might be slipped more than a year… If not, that means the next month release at latest, but then we may see another localization problems on it.

[Update 2009-10-10]

Hatena Bookmarker id:yowa dived into the Flash file and found the hidden number is “5”. So “15.10.09” is likely in European style, means October 15th 2009, when “Tweetup Tokyo 09 Fall” [J] will be held with welcoming a big guest from USA, Biz Stone. The event registration was closed. Asiajin sends staff there.

[Update 2009-10-15]

The hidden letter was now shown. It is 15.10.09 and likely to go out today.

twitter-japan-cellphone-site-teaser-updated