There was a time when the only social network that mattered in Japan was Mixi, but these days, after years of stagnation, it is hardly heard of in daily conversation — being replaced in popularity by rivals such as Gree, Mobage, Twitter, Facebook and most recently Line.

Now, however, Mixi is adding marriage/dating businesses to its basket. Is this simply a desperate move to regain relevance or a fightback challenge that could cure the nation's low marriage/birth rate?

Since June, a new young president, 31-year-old Yusuke Asakura, has taken control of the company from its founder, Kenji Kasahara, and has set out to change Mixi's declining popularity by starting several small in-house ventures not directly related to the main social-networking service.