As Boris reported a few weeks ago, LinkedIn is doing well in these harsh economic times. People fueled by angst surf around the service to get in touch with headhunters. An example from Japan learns us that there’s another successful business opportunity for times like these: fortune telling.
Worried Japanese Internet users surf to Zappallas’ fortune-telling websites to find some reassurance in crystal balls, tarot readings, I-ching and horoscopes. These mobile sites have names like “Your Future in Three Months” and “Certain Fate”. All together, they stirred a 61 percent rise in net first-half profit.
The group which spends most time on finding reassurance? Women between 20 years to 34 years old. Not a bad target group…
Reuters notes the commercial success of Zappallas:
Registered users, who pay a set monthly fee, climbed 21 percent from a year earlier to 2.2 million at the end of October. That’s even as consumers rein in spending on new mobile phones and PCs, which they use to click on Zappallas’s 443 sites.
“Fortune telling is content that has been around for thousands of years,” said Zappallas spokeswoman Kumiko Wada to Reuters. “We now treat it as a bit of fun, but there’s depth and a history there of people turning to it for guidance in tough times.”
So if you were looking for a money machine, you might try the ancient art of fortune telling. You might some people gifted with the craft of tarrot and hand reading on LinkedIn.