Shibuya-based social media service company Cyber Agent launched a Twitter-like micro message service called “Ameba Now[J]” today. As a Japanese Internet slang, “now” is frequently used in a Twitter message telling other Twitterers where you are, such as “Shibuya Now!” and “Akihabara Now!”. That company’s new service name comes from it.
As Serkan Toto mentioned in his TechCrunch article on Twitter’s monetization attempt that they had failed,
Japanese web users are generally way more interested in what celebrities (singers, actors, TV stars etc.) “are doing” or “what’s happening” in their private lives.
Yep, that’s why Cyber Agent has been partnering with many entertainment agencies, and they’ve called 6,000 entertainers for their blog service platform. In competing with Twitter running further ahead, Cyber Agent will use the same way to engage many users. 100 entertainers are intend to join this Twitter-like service by the end of this year, and additional 500 entertainers will also join it by next March.
Of course, any non-entertainer like you can also join it. Just as same with Twitter, a message post to Ameba Now must be consisted of less than 140 characters. Because of the Chinese character’s advantage that an every single character has an ideograph and multiple syllables, Japanese messages can make yourself understood by a smaller set of characters, so 140-character is already enough.
“The first three months decides the game. We have no exact target value. But if the service’s start dash is not good, we will withdraw it soon.”, Cyber Agent’s assistant producer Eiko Nagayama says.
Ameba Now mobile edition is currently available, and the PC edition is now planned to be launched next Wednesday.