I'm continually amazed at the East-West cultural gap (that's between Asia and the US/EU, not between Boston and Silicon Valley). It goes both ways, but as an American Internet and mobile enthusiast with Asian connections, I'm usually struck by US ignorance of Asian Internet and mobile services.
Today, China has the worlds largest mobile population and the worlds largest Internet population. Korea is a leader in high speed broadband, as is Japan. Japan is also the #2 economy in the world and arguably the world's leading mobile society. Surely it's worth the time to understand what's happening in their markets!
For a change, over the weekend, I stumbled on an excellent presentation, What Asia can tell us about mobile social networks, from O'Reilly's conference, Graphing Social Patterns East, held in June in Washington DC. The presenter was Benjamin Joffe who resides in Beijing where, among other things, he's the founder of Mobile Monday Beijing.
Some of his numbers may be a year old, but the impact is clear. Asian services like QQ (740M registered users), CyWorld (used by 90% of young Koreans) and Mixi (10M mobile users in Japan) typically started before Facebook, have many more features, and are profitable!
Here's Benjamin's features list:
Check out the entire presentation. Well worth the effort!