Miitomo, as many reading this will know well, launched on 17th March in Japan. Nintendo and DeNA's social app is certainly under pressure to deliver big download numbers, while shareholders will be watching closely to see what kind of revenue it and future apps will generate.

A lot of that will be assessed in the medium to long term, but initial results are certainly promising. At launch Miitomo has become the number one social download on iOS in Japan - beating the mighty LINE - and the second most-downloaded free app - those trends have been the same on 17th and 18th March, as reflected in App Annie stats. The only app beating Miitomo in the overall free chart in Japan is the new Puzzle & Dragons entry from GungHo, which is hardly surprising considering the fact that the brand is a phenomenon in Japan.

The reaction to the app and these early results is undoubtedly positive in Japan. Bloomberg quotes Atul Goyal, an analyst at Jefferies Group LLC, as saying the following.

This should remove any doubts about the Nintendo brand's relevancy in the smartphone age. More than just a messaging tool, Miitomo can be a platform for distributing Nintendo content, and probably third-party content at a later stage.

Nintendo spokesman Yasuhiro Minagawa only provided a short statement.

We had a good start and have received very positive feedback. Miitomo will continue to evolve.

It's undoubtedly a strong start for Nintendo and Miitomo, though the proof of its success will come over the next few weeks, ultimately; nevertheless a positive launch and early momentum (along with prominent store placement) is a notable boost.

We'll keep an eye on how its chart placings progress in Japan and keep you posted. Do you think Miitomo will have a similarly impressive launch in the West?

[source appannie.com, via bloomberg.com]