Japan vs. Korea – Product Page Comparison (Part 2: Other Metadata)


The previous article, Japan vs. Korea Part 1, discussed the differences between the screenshots in Korea and Japan. Even though it was the same app, screenshots on the Korean and Japanese Apple App Store had different characteristics and focal messages. This article now looks into the other metadata on the Korean and Japanese app stores to see if there are similar differences. 

This article covers various types of apps and compares not only the same apps that are published in Japan and Korea but also the apps that are different but provide similar services. By doing so, it discovers that

  • Japan prefers more information;
  • Korea prefers storytelling and “make it personal”;
  • Korea focuses on catchphrases while Japan demonstrates app’s performance.

In a nutshell, the Japanese and Korean metadata simply pursue to show the users the best and the most preferred part of the app, but they have a different focus solely because the Korean users and Japanese users have different points through which they find an app interesting. Thus, it seems pertinent to understand what the users of each country prefer.

Japan Prefers More Information

Title Comparison – Spotify & Carrot Market

Since an app’s title is one of the most important metadata, the difference in it can heavily affect the performance of the app. Understanding the importance of an app’s title, Carrot Market, a major flea market app in Korea, and Spotify, a global music streaming app, chose to make the app’s title more suitable for each countryーKorea simply put its name, while Japan added more information to its name.

Resource: Spotify(KR)
Resource: Spotify(JP)

The Spotify and Carrot Market in the Japanese app store added breif information about the app:

  • Spotify(JP): “音楽とポットキャスト”(music and podcast)
  • Carrot Market(JP): “お住まいのまちのフリマアプリ”(flea market near where you live)

Spotify Japan decided to put “music and podcast” to the title to deliver more information to its prospective users.

Carrot Market also has additional phrases to its title. Another interesting point about it is that it localized the title to “Karrot(キャロット)” in Japanese. It reduced “market” probably because the Japanese word “フリマ” is an abbreviation for “flea market” and is a more popular keyword in the Japanese market. Another note to make about Carrot Market is that adding more phrases in Japan was a part of meta keyword optimization. Since Carrot Market in Korea is huge and well-known, it may not see the need to add more keywords to its title. Yet it is just beginning in Japan, so the marketers of Carrot Market might have thought more meta keywords could help increase the app’s visibility.

Korea Prefers Storytelling & “Make It Personal”

Subtitle Comparison – Uma Musume & Spotify

Other metadata, such as the subtitle and the description, also show the preference of Japan and Korea. The subtitles and descriptions of Uma Musume: Pretty Derby and Spotify accord with the idea that Japan wants more information but they also depict that metadata in the Korea prefers storytelling and making the app more personal.

Uma Musume: Pretty Derby

The subtitles of Uma Musume: Pretty Derby in Japan and Korea focus on different points.

  • Uma Musume(KR): “누구보다 빠르게 달리고 싶어!” (I wanna be the fastest one!)
  • Uma Musume(JP): “育成シミュレーションゲーム”(Build-up simulation game)

Uma Musume Korea’s subtitle focuses on what the user will have to pursue as he or she plays the game as if the user became a character in the game. On the other hand, the Japanese subtitle simply explains the genre of this game. It probably also aids keyword optimization because “Build-up simulation game” is a famous game genre in Japan, yet it still is plain, objective information about the app.


Resource: Spotify(KR)

As the title of Spotify, its subtitles also show the different preferences in Japan and Korea.

  • Spotify(KR): “나보다 나를 더 잘 아는, 스포티파이” (Spotify knows me better than I do)
  • Spotify(JP): “プレイストアもアルバムも聴き放題”(Limitless play store and album)

The subtitle of Spotify Korea emphasizes that it can help the user to find his or her personal and individual interest. It could have a more plain, information-focused subtitle, but Spotify Korea chose to demonstrate more about its ability to make the app personal to the users. On the othre hand, Japan’s subtitle is informative and objective. It focuses on delivering an intriguingーprobably the most attractingーfeature of the app. However, the Japanese users recently have reviewed highly about Spotify‘s recommended playlist, so it may be helpful to highlight that feature.

Description Comparison – Blue Archive

The same notion of differences can be found in the metadata of Blue Archive. Blue Archive Korea brings the users into the story, while the Japanese side introduces which developer who created this game.

  • Blue Archive(KR): “You have been appointed as an advisor to Schale, located in Kivotos”
  • Blue Archive(JP): “Yostarが贈る学園x青春x物語RPG”(Yostar presents school x youth x story RPG)

In this case, the difference appeared in the game’s description. The Korean description specifically points at “you,” the user, as someone who will be a leading character in that fantasy world. On the one hand, the Japanese description demonstrates that it is an RPG game developed and created by a popular game company (Yostar). This comparison has discovered that it is clear there are differences between Japan’s and Korea’s metadata, but there is no right or wrong answer to this; each metadata just has to follow the users’ preferences and needs.

Catchphrase(KR) vs. Performance(JP)

So far, this article has discussed that the Korean metadata focuses on storytelling and delivering individual interests, while the Japanese metadata values demonstrating information and the app’s features. To follow this notion of this idea, three pairs of apps that provide similar services will be compared, and the following is the list of the categories:

  1. Flea Market App
  2. Messenger App
  3. Trading App – Trading Limited Editions

This comparison will demonstrate that the Korean metadata tends to highlight the app’s catchphrase; on the contrary, the Japanese side introduces the app’s performance and the number of active users.

Flea Market App

Both in Japan and Korea, it is popular to trade items, especially apparel, on an individual base. So, flea market apps that provide a platform for people to buy and sell their items are widely used, and Korea’s popular flea market app and that of Japan will be compared to see the cultural preferences of Japan and Korea from their metadata differences. The Korean flea market app is Bunjang, and the Japanese app is “Mercari.” Let’s find out how each flea market app tries to appeal to its prospective users.

Resource: Bunjang

The description of Bunjang starts with its catchphrase:

“다르게 사는 거래, 번개같이 사는 거래”

(Trade, quick as a flash, a transformative experience)


Though my English translation may not bear this sentence as a good catchphrase, the Korean phrase does emphasize its quickness and easiness in an impactful way and even has a rhyme and smart wordplay (in Korean “to buy” and “to live” has the same sound), so it can indicate this app makes both the “trade” and “life” quick and transformative. The app could have a description that demonstrates the average time taken per each trade and the number of trade cases users have made through this app to emphasize the app’s strength. However, Bunjang chose to condense the message into a simple and impactful catchphrase and placed it on top of its description.

Resource: Mercari

On the other hand, Mercari starts its description with an introduction to its app, saying it is a flea market app. And soon it added that the app is “日本最大”(the largest in Japan). Mercari chose to appeal to its prospective users by showing off that it is Japan’s largest flea market app and that lots of people are using it. It is another type of information yet from a more marketing-explicit approach.


(the largest in Japan)


Messenger Apps

Another type to discuss is the messenger apps. Even though the messenger apps provide different services than the flea market apps, the differences in the Korean and the Japanese metadata are in accordance. To confirm it is so, this article will bring up Korea and Japan’s most popular messenger apps: KakaoTalk and LINE, respectively.

KakaoTalk‘s subtitle introduces its catchphrase, while LINE‘s description starts with demonstrating the number of active users. KakaoTalk‘s subtitle is “모든 연결의 시작, 카카오톡” (KakaoTalk, the beginning of every connection).

“모든 연결의 시작, 카카오톡”

(KakaoTalk, The beginning of every connection)


It may sound a bit overconfident, for it is using words like “beginning” and “every.” Yet KakaoTalk shows its pride and confidence that it is the best messenger and communication app in Korea. So it chose to almost brag about itself to appeal to the prospective users instead of putting a simple informative subtitle like “Korea’s largest messenger app.”

LINE, on the contrary, deliberately conveys information in its description, and it starts telling it has “国内8,900万人”(89 million users in Japan). For the population of Japan is about 130 million, LINE is used by about 70% of the entire population. This is a huge portion, so it could also brag like KakaoTalk by composing a highlighting catchphrase. Yet it chose to show the number and simply deliver information, though showing the number of active users is as explicit as having a catchphrase that says it is “the beginning of every connection.”


(89 million users in Japan)


Trading Apps – Trading Limited Editions

As mentioned in the Flea Market discussion, trading apparel on an individual level is popular in both Japan and Korea. It is partly because both countries are highly interested in fashion and collecting limited editions. Along with the popularity of apparel trading, sneaker is also frequently traded in Japan and Korea because collecting limited sneakers is a famous culture. To encourage such culture, there are trading apps both in Korea and Japan which provide a platform where people can easily buy and sell the original and authentic sneakers. It is similar to the flea market apps, but these apps solely focus on valuable sneakers and limited editions.

Resource: KREAM

KREAM is a Korean app that provides a platform for sneaker trading. It is widely used and loved by its users for its accuracy in distinguishing counterfeit from original and the easiness of trading. Similar to Korea’s flea market app, Bunjang, KREAM starts its description with its catchphrase, “Kicks Rule Everything Around Me!” (the abbreviation of this catchphrase becomes the name of the app, KREAM.)

“Kicks Rule Everything Around Me!”


This catchphrase impactfully conveys what the app is about, while it also depicts the idea that the Korean metadata tends to have catchphrase and attempt to make the app look more personal to the users.

Meanwhile, Japan’s SNKR DUNK attempts to attract its prospective users by demonstrating its performance. The second and the third bullet point of SNKR DUNK are “国内No.1のスニーカー&ハイブランドフリマ”(No.1 sneaker and high brand flea market in Japan) and “毎月400万人以上が利用中”(more than 4 million people are using the app every month).

“No.1 sneaker and high brand flea market in Japan”

“More than 4 million people are using the app every month”


Same as Mercari and LINE, SNKR DUNK attempts to bring in more users by delivering information about the app’s performance.

Compare by Chart

To enhance the reliability of this discussion, I researched the Top 10 apps in the 5 categoriesーGames, Shopping, Social Networking, Travel, and Foodーin the Japanese and Korean Apple App Stores to check whether more Japanese apps have information that conveys the app’s performance and active user count than Korean apps. Though the Korean apps in some categories had the same or more cases that demonstrated the performance and user count, the total number showed that Japan had 40% more apps with that information.

Showing App’s Performance in Metadata

We have discovered that more Japanese apps tend to add accolades in their metadata regarding Japanese cultural preference for more information. Yet as the graph shows, Korean apps also include their performance, too. But a concern may arise: is it okay to include accolades in the metadata?

  • Apple’s Guidelines:
    • For the subtitle, “Avoid generic descriptions such as ‘world’s best app.'”
    • For the description, “If you choose to mention an accolade, we recommend putting it at the end of your description or as part of your promotional text.”

So, Apple App Store guidelines allow putting accolades or the app’s performance in its metadata, but it is always good to avoid phrases too explicitly promotional. However, the Google Play Store guideline has a little different opinion on this matter.

  • Google’s Guidelines:
    • It is highly recommended not to use “language that reflects or suggests Google Play performance, ranking, accolades or awards, user testimonials, or price and promotional information, for example, ‘Best,’ ‘#1.'”

In a nutshell, both Apple App Store and Play Store mention accolades and promotional phrases with Play Store having more emphasis on it. However, whether an accolade is allowed or not by the app stores’ policy, the more important point is that a meta keyword is relevant to the app and that it does not cause any misunderstanding among users. As many of you already know, simply adding “#1” to your metadata does not make the app rank higher; instead, including one more relevant and optimized keyword will help the app grow and succeed.


Just as the screenshot comparison between Korea and Japan has shown, the other metadata of these two countries had distinct differences. Korea prefers to hear storytelling and make the app personal. To satisfy that preferences, Korean apps tend to show their catchphrase. On the one hand, Japan prefers to obtain information and the strengths of an app. This leads to Japanese metadata including the app’s performance and the number of active users.

As every individual has his or her characteristics, every country has its own distinct culture. This brings to each country’s cultural preferences, and it is important for app marketers to understand what the target country prefers. Though understanding the preferences and applying strategies based on such understanding might not directly lead to an app’s growth and success, continuous research and attempt to know users will never betray the effort.

ASO Index is an ASO tool developed by aix Inc., and it serves your app to grow by providing in-depth data and concise analysis and research.

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