Recent demographic data states that the largest share of the population using internet in the country is aged 55 years and over with the overall majority of internet users being male. The most popular online content categories in Japan are search and navigation and the country records 73.6 percent of the internet users engaged in watching online video content via any device.
With close to 59 percent of the Japanese population accessing internet through mobile phone in 2016, forecasts estimate this figure will grow to 61.6 percent in 2021. The most popular app was mobile messenger LINE, one of the most popular Asia-based messenger apps worldwide. Other popular mobile apps include Twitter, Facebook and Apple Music.
Recent statistics reveal the most popular social networks in Japan to be LINE, followed by Facebook and Twitter. Twitter recorded 18.32 million unique visitors from Japan as of May 2015. Despite the heavy mobile app and messenger usage, the active social media penetration was only 43 percent in 2016, thus ranking Japan on the lower end of online social user engagement in Asian countries.
Retail e-commerce sales in Japan amounted to 89.55 billion U.S. dollars in 2016 and subsequently placed the country as one of the strongest online commerce markets worldwide. Current industry figures place the digital buyer penetration in Japan at 69 percent of the population. Over half of Japanese online shoppers accessed comparison shopping websites, other popular online retail categories included books, computer hardware and apparel. Local online retailer Rakuten was the second most-visited online shopping site, ranking slightly behind U.S. competitor Amazon.