Blink and you’ve missed it: Nintendo launches social network Miitomo

Nintendo just released its first app, and it’s a social network. No, that’s not an April Fool’s joke. It is, however, completely unlike any social network you’ve ever seen. It’s not for reading news, creating events or sharing website links. It takes social networks back to its original function – talking with your friends.

The app launched in Japan two weeks ago, and saw its worldwide release late last week. You can either import your existing avatar from the Miiverseor create one from scratch. There’s even an option to base it off your face, but the inner narcissist in me doesn’t recommend that function.

Once you’ve created an avatar, you can purchase digital objects such as clothes and accessories, answer questions that are played back to your friends, and take Miifotos. If that sounds basic, it is. But it’s oh so much fun and users have been addicted since Miitomo’s launch.

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So what’s in it for brands? Not much, I would venture to say. There are possibilities, however. Consider this:

  1. When creating a Miitomo profile, you can search for your Twitter followers and add them on the social network, although it would be tricky to define your brand into one avatar.
  2. The functionality of uploading your own photos could be leveraged by supplying fans with a fun or branded image to take Miifotos with and upload to other social networks, such as Twitter.
  3. Nintendo may be open to branded merchandise in its clothing store.

Nintendo has the clout to make sure this app sticks around, and we can speculate that it won’t be going the way of Meerkat or Peach. However, judging by the utter weirdness and quirkiness of it, let’s not bet on Miitomo becoming the next big social network.

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