Akky Akimoto writes for Asiajin.com, an English/Spanish blog on the Japanese web scene. He is also an in-house blogger for Cybozu Labs, which helped him get over 120,000 tech-loving Twitter followers. He has worked as a localization engineer in the U.K., the U.S. and Vietnam as well as in Japan.
For Akky Akimoto's latest contributions to The Japan Times, see below:
Dec 13, 2014
Nov 8, 2014
Aug 9, 2014
Social-game apps on smartphones have become a massive market, and every year another new mega-hit game emerges with players in the multimillions. The games themselves are usually free to play, but staggering profits generated by optional in-game purchases have made the makers of these apps extremely rich, changing the power balance within the game industry.
Jul 12, 2014
Jun 20, 2014
Although it has now been surpassed by the United States, Japan was once the world's largest market for e-books, thanks to the early success of the cellphone-content business. But in today's competitive market, e-book sellers disappear every few months, leaving consumers to wonder whether the digital products they are buying are as permanent as paper books.
May 23, 2014
Apr 18, 2014
On Japanese TV, you may notice that a lot of commercials for smartphone social games emphasize the word muryō (free). Consumers have been purchasing digital content on their phones for years, even since the clam-shell cellphone days. Now, more and more Japanese people are migrating to the sort of smartphones that are popular around the world, and Japan's smartphone app business has overtaken the United States to become the world's largest. Believe it or not, this is largely down to players of free social games who purchase virtual items within the game.
Mar 20, 2014
Massive anonymous bulletin board 2channel has played an important role on the Japanese Web for 15 years (mostly on the dark side). Riddled with gossip and rumors, the site has always kept its ownership vague to avoid legal conflict, but recently a longtime background supporter seems to be trying to shake things up — and he's an American.
Feb 20, 2014
Jan 16, 2014
Question and answer sites have for a decade been one of the most popular user-contributed services on the Web — and Japan is no exception. On the traditional Web, the market has been occupied by a few big players, but the recent popularity of smartphones has attracted new startups to the mobile Web field.
Dec 17, 2013
In the Japanese social-networking scene, Facebook still isn't dominating the way it does in the United States and many other countries. There are several other networks in Japan, both old and new, that occupy unique positions, though 2013 was an unusually quiet year, with no big takeovers among social-networking companies here.
Oct 15, 2013
Sep 17, 2013
Aug 20, 2013
Over the last month or so, the hottest topic on the Japanese Web scene has been inconsiderate and shocking behavior by convenience- and food chain-stores employees who messed about with appliances and food, and then boasted with photos on social media, mainly on Twitter. While the initial so-called enjō (to burn — as in it spreads like wildfire) criticism and severe bashing of the culprits was on the Web, it has now spilled over into mainstream media.
Jul 16, 2013
Over the last decade, people's behavior during their daily train ride has completely changed. In the past, Japanese were known to be avid readers of paperbacks (bunko) and manga magazines, and would do so even on Tokyo's notoriously crowded trains. Now, however, it is rare to spot someone on the train who is not staring into their cellphone.
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