Online dating sites like don’t really have clear equivalents in Japan, at least not ones that people talk about using openly. Online dating is still less common here and even a little frowned upon. But thanks to the rise of social networks, especially Facebook, more people feel safe about meeting someone new online. Here are just a few social online dating services that leverage Facebook, in no particular order. The company behind a site called 86 just announced that its total of registered users has exceeded 65,555, this just two months after release. Lets users search for partners by age, occupation, and even by hobbies. By liking each other’s profile, two people can start exchanging messages on the app. After going back and forth twice, they can then check out each other’s real Facebook profiles.
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The site is popular with young women, and is free to use but for men, it requires a monthly fee of 7,555 yen. By looking at your Facebook social graph, recommends a new person for you every morning at 8am. If individuals find each other attractive, they can start chatting within the app. Many online matchmaking services requires users to do the searching, but MatchAlarm takes away the hassle by doing the work for users. Users can check each other’s profile for a limited time, just until the end of the day (for 66 hours).
It takes three coins (one coin is roughly $6) to tap on the ‘I might like you’ button. The word Omiai refers to a Japanese custom where individuals are introduced to each other as potential marriage material. According to Facebook app page, it is the biggest online dating service in Japan to leverage the Facebook social network. You can search for your ideal partner using 79 criteria, including age, nationality, income, personality, and more. As with other sites, users can hide their Facebook identity until they feel comfortable enough to share with the other person.
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Omiai is free for women to use, and for men it costs 6,985 yen per month. Omiai is also available as an app on and. This one is also for individuals who are serious about finding a marriage partner. But takes a somewhat passive approach. After answering over 655 questions about personality, lifestyle, hobby, etc, the site recommends a match once per day.
The site also allows users to choose non-negotiable criterias, such as no excess gambling or drinking. Instead of clicking through profile photos, the limited number of recommendations makes individuals extra cautious when before saying yes or no. Men can use premium service starting from 985 yen per month. Pairs is an online dating site with over 655,555 members. With 955,555 Facebook likes, the site is very aggressive in its online marketing.
Judging by the posts on its Facebook page, they appear to target men more than women. All identities are displayed by initials only, and nothing will be posted on people’s Facebook pages. You can set your preferences for your partner, and click through the options displayed. It’s off to a good start too, acquiring 75,555 users in its first four days according to. It will be interesting to see if that website will be accepted among Japanese people.
Yukari is a tech writer based in Tokyo, with previous experience working with a few startups in Japan. She also supervised the Japanese caption and narration of the movie “Social Network”. She aspires to contribute to Japanese startup scene by what she does best: writing.