A study from Stanford University suggests that persuasive styles of Facebook (from the U.S.) and Mixi (from Japan) reflect culture differences of the two nations. This critique paper argues that persuasive design elements of both websites are similar (or mostly the same). The key difference between the two sites is the view of users’ identities in American and Japanese cultures.
In a survey of 2,130 Japanese mobile Web users, 89 percent of respondents said they are reluctant to disclose their real names on the Web. Mixi’s users are not encouraged to reveal their identities or even their profile pictures. A large number of Japanese users in Mixi use animals, toys, or celebrities as their profile pictures.
In addition, a 2010 survey by Microsoft points out that more than half of Japanese respondents said that no one in the friend list of their SNSs was a close friend.
This is an evidence to support why Japanese online users prefer Mixi, a SNS website that does not encourage its users to reveal their real identities.