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niconico, formally known as Nico Nico Douga (Japanese: ニコニコ動画, which means “Smile Videos”), is a Japanese media hub site well-known for its large video remixing community and the real-time display of user comments during the playback. The site was founded by Niwango, a child company of the Japanese media company Dwango. And Hiroyuki Nishimura, the founder of the Japanese textboard community 2channel, had joined Nico Nico Douga as a board member till February, 2013.
Launched on December 12th, 2006, the earliest form of Nico Nico Douga relied on YouTube as its video-hosting service. But as the community continued to grow in traffic and bandwidth usage, YouTube blocked access from Nico Nico Douga beginning on February 23rd, 2007. Consequently, the site was forced to shut down the service but it was relaunched as “Nico Nico Douga Y” with its own video-hosting server less than a month later in March. In May 2007, the Nico Nico Douga for mobile phone users was announced. Since August 9, 2007, “Nico Nico Douga (RC) Mobile” has serviced mobile phones of NTT DoCoMo and au. Its nickname is “Niconico” or “Nico-dō”, where “nikoniko” is the Japanese ideophone for smiling.
On May 1st, 2012, Dwango changed the brand name for the whole of its services to “niconico”. Nico Nico Douga restarted as its video-sharing service section and its spelling was changed into “niconico Douga”.
Nico Nico Douga was the first website introduce a way to embed tags and comments directly into the videos, allowing comments on 2channel and the YouTube clip to be displayed simultaneously. The feature enabled video posts on Nico Nico Douga with a sense of a shared watching experience.
niconico Live (ニコニコ生放送,Nico Nico Namahousou), formally spelled “Nico Nico Live”, is a personal live-streaming service in niconico. It was launched as a trial service on December 25th, 2007 and opened to all premium users in December 12th, 2008.
The total quantity of aired programs had reached 1 million within its first half year since user programs started, and it had reached 100 million on July 11th 2012. Nowadays, hundreds of thousands of user broadcasting programs are aired in a day.
Nico Nico Seiga
Nico Nico Seiga (ニコニコ静画) is niconico’s illustrators community section launched in late 2009. Nico Nico Seiga shares the tags with niconico Douga and has a Futaba channel style image board section named “Theme” (お題). In contrast of the popularity of niconico Douga, it hasn’t got a much presence on the web, and left in the dust of pixiv.
Nico Nico Pedia
Nico Nico Pedia (ニコニコ大百科, Nico Nico Daihyakka) is an internet encyclopedia section in niconico. All entries has 2channel style comment board in the bottom of articles for all registered users. But only premium users can edit articles. Since Nico Nico Pedia doesn’t require notability nor neutrality to the articles, the atmosphere of this service is quite similar to Encyclopedia Dramatica and YTMND wiki.
As of October 31, 2011, Nico Nico Douga has over 23,690,000 registered users, 6,870,000 mobile users and 1,390,000 premium users. The website is written in Japanese and the majority of the site traffic is from Japan, although approximately four percent is from outside of Japan, notably one percent from Taiwan. A Taiwanese version of the site was launched on October 18, 2007. In July 2008, the website was localized to German and Spanish. The Taiwanese localization was significantly improved in the process. Nico Nico Douga is the thirteenth most visited website in Japan.
For the complete listing of memes originating from niconico, check out KYM Collection – niconico