A Quick Introduction to Chinas Microblogs: Weibo
We often get asked, what are the major platforms in China. So we thought we will provide a short overview on each of the major players of Chinese Social Media. First up – Weibo.
When mentioning Chinese Social Media, weibo, often labelled as the Chinese Twitter, is usually what people think of. However, few realize the complexity of the weibo ecosystem. “Weibo”, directly translates to “microblog”, and is offered by most of the top internet enterprises, from Baidu, the top search engine, to Phoenix, a leading public forum. When investing in a platform for social campaigns, choosing between Sina and Tencent will be your best bet.
Fundamentally, weibo services stick to its core of 140-character messages. However, don’t simply migrate your Twitter strategy to weibo. Most weibo platforms offer multimedia support from photo to video to audio. Other features such as threaded conversation diverges weibo platforms away from their Twitter roots and into their own medium.
Sina Weibo 新浪微薄
Mostly known to the Western world simply as Weibo, thus creating the confusion, Sina Weibo is one of the top Chinese Social Networks. Boasting more than 500 million users, Sina Weibo’s reach extends from the top cities of China to the surrounding Chinese-speaking regions, to the millions of Chinese immigrants across the Pacific.
Sina Weibo is most popular within Tier 1 and 2 cities, these include Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. Majority of their users are college-educated or higher white collars between their 20s and 30s. Both genders have strong presence on Sina Weibo. Over the years, the scale of desktop-to-mobile users has tipped toward smartphones instead of accessing it through desktop computers.
Being one of the most actively used social networks in China, it is also one of the most regulated. Fashion, entertainment, lifestyle, and humor are some of the most prominent conversation topics on the platform. In comparison, conversations about technology and politics are not nearly as active. Sina Weibo also offer customizable brand pages to allow businesses to create a unique experience for users visiting their profile.
Tencent Weibo 腾讯微薄
Tencent Weibo is the lesser known cousin of Sina Weibo. Part of the Tencent family, connected to the QQ products, Tencent Weibo claimed to have more than 500 million users. Most of these users, however, are migrated over from other part of the QQ family, including the largest blogging platform QZone and the most popular chat service QQ chat client. Its access to hundreds of millions of users on QQ products should not be ignored.
Many of Tencent Weibo users share similar profile as its sibling services. They tend to be from smaller cities, including Taiyuan and Nanning. As a result, the average user education and income on Tencent Weibo are also not as high in comparison. Because Tencent is not as rigorous at censorship as Sina corporation, there are more conversations regarding politics on the platform. Other subjects that are more popular on Tencent than Sina include technology and business.
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