Mixi Appli Conference 2009

Mixi [JP] (TSE:2121) held a conference to introduce their new service “Mixi Appli”. Mixi Appli provides an OpenSocial-based application platform for developers.
Mixi Appli is one of the three services provided on “Mixi Platform”. Mixi Platform provides Mixi Appli, Mixi Connect (OAuth) and Mixi OpenID.
CEO, Kenji Kasahara briefly introduced Mixi and Mixi Appli. And then CEO of Google Japan, Koichiro Tsujino gave a very short talk about OpenSocial. Kenji Kasahara emphasized that Mixi is going to be the world’s first social application platform which provides full features both on PC and mobile.
Hiroyuki Oyama, a technology advisor of Mixi, explained an API of Mixi Appli.
Mixi Appli has two user interfaces “Canvas” and “Feed”. Canvas is a full page canvas which works as a main screen of apps. Feed is a short text message which appears on the user’s homepage. Canvas is defined by Gadgets.xml of OpenSocial API, and pages can be written with HTML/Javascript/Flash.
Mixi Appli provides 5 APIs such as Person & Friends API, Community API, Activities API, Persistence API, and gadgets.io API.
Mixi is going to release Mixi Appli API for mobile on 24th April. Mobile version of Mixi Appli is only provided for approved developers.
Akinori Harada, SVP of Mixi Division, gave a detailed talk on Mixi Appli.
He predicted that the next generation of Web sites are going to be based on social graph. Social graph based sites are not “globally social” like Digg, Flickr or Youtube. Social graph based services have values such as “sharing”, “contextual” and “empathy”.
Mixi Appli provides two methods of monetization for developers. One is a Mixi official ad program which pays per pageview. Ad revenue starts from 0.01yen ($0.0001) per pageview, and the revenue increases proportionally with pageviews and uniqueusers. Another is a Mixi payment API. Mixi payment API supports micro-payment.
Harada announced Social Application Award, the award which is given to the best Mixi Appli. The winner receives a million yen ($10,000).
Mixi Appli will be officially launched on August 2009. Subsequently, Mixi ad program and Mixi Appli for mobile launches on September.
Harada also announced that Mixi formed “Mixi Fund” to fund Mixi Appli developers. Community Factory Inc. [JP] received the first investment of the fund. They didn’t disclose the amount of the investment.
Community Factory plans to release 3 applications, which are Dynamite Panic, Group Chat, and Moso Shopping.
CTO of RockYou, Jia Shen unveiled Mixi Appli version of their SuperPets application. Mixi Appli version has special Hello Kitty items for Japanese users. Harada commented that RockYou has a larger number of pageviews than Mixi.

Makoto Asanuma, an executive of Bandai Namco Games, said that they released an application called “Birthday Cake” which provides a special collaborative way to celebrate their friend’s birthday. Bandai Namco Games is already providing games and characters for existing Mixi services such as “PicoMiku”, “MikuCole”, and “Mixi Nengajo” (New year card).
Minoru Kimura, a head of Recruit Media Technology Labs, boasted their plan to launch 30 applications. He showed 3 applications as example. “Kin-en Marathon” (Quit Smoking Marathon) is a collaborative application to help quit smoking. “Senchaku Sama” (Mr. first-comer) helps users to do something such as party registration or simple giveaway in first-come-first-served basis. “Commercializer” [JP] is an online video editing service which enables users to create their own TV commercial.

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  1. Thanks for the great report. Interesting to see all the things they have planned.
    But perhaps more interesting is to compare the approach of Japan’s major SNS vs. SNS from outside Japan. From outside Japan the approach is very iterative – small baby steps experimenting with all the latest generation tools and technologies on a month by month basis. From Mix – wait and watch, plan, pre-announce, plan, announce and then release – over approximately a 6 month period.
    Any thoughts on this and whether you think Mixi Appli will be successful? (which I guess is defined by an increase in users, increased usage by existing users, and resulting revenues).

  2. I’m very interested to see where this goes. Apps could bridge the gap between Mixi and Facebook with non-Japanese. Obviously there’s a language barrier, but I think a bigger hurdle is the fact that Mixi is functionally where MySpace was 5+ years ago: static user pages with a little multimedia functionality. If Apps turn the content on Mixi into the sort of news-feed AJAXy goodness we’ve got in Facebook, Mixi might have a chance to expand its market…
    …if it wants to, which it very well might not.

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