On July 7, 2012, Oh My Japan was opened to the public. We chose the date of Tanabata because of its significance as a Japanese holiday about the connections between people [(Wikipedia entry on Tanabata)](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tanabata).
We started with a single member, and today, three years later, we have more than 14,000.
Even more impressive, OMJ members have exchanged more than 150,000 messages.
Members have made great friends, met great teachers, and found long-term boyfriends and girlfriends. People tell me this is a site unlike any other because so many of our members are sincere.
Most of our non-Japanese members are very serious about studying the Japanese language, and our Japanese members are eager to learn English and other languages. This is one reason I believe OMJ is the best social network for people interested in Japanese to meet new people.
This year, the search features were greatly improved, and hundreds of other optimizations were made to keep the site secure and speedy.
We also added a guide for newcomers about how to use Oh My Japan.
I’m extremely pleased with the progress that Oh My Japan has made so far and I hope we are able to do even more for our members this year.