Weibo: The “Twitter” of China, but bigger
Weibo: The “Twitter” of China, but bigger
Author: Matej Balen
13th August 2018
SHANGHAI – Introduction to Sina Weibo or simply “Weibo”, a thriving Chinese social microblogging media network, most simply described as a developing hybrid of Twitter and Facebook.

In a time of high-tech growth, China has certainly become one of the World’s leader in the IT industry. Number of internet users in China has reached 800 million in 2018, and more than 60% of them are using Weibo - China’s biggest social media network.

In 2009, SINA Corporation tested Sina Weibo with basic functions that included messaging, private messaging, commenting and re-posting. Soon after the third-party applications were added. Within two years after the launch, Weibo grow to 100 million registered users, and had become the first and fastest source of information, almost completely user generated (created or re-posted) with possibilities to comment, like and share a certain content.

Weibo took over the 140-character limit on messages (like Twitter), but also allowed posting of video and picture content (like Facebook) providing the microblogging feature of the platform with the possibility to directly interact with other users on a certain content.

Big companies, film and fashion stars, athletes and famous people, from China and abroad (in English version), soon realized cheap and effective ways of self-promotion and direct communication with their fans through the platform. Sina added several categories of user accounts and necessary verification process to confirm the identity of an individual/company that is opening the account.

Media rich content, user interaction and tons of playing and advertising third-party options turned Weibo into China’s most dominant source of news content, where users come for information acquisition, sharing and commenting. In 2018, there are over 500 million registered users, and 350 million monthly active users (Twitter 330 million e.g.) that create over 100 million new posts daily. Sina Weibo surpassed US$30 billion market valuation.

Chinese TV hosts and film stars top the lists with the most Weibo followers (Xie Na, He Jiong, Angelababy, Chen Kun) with the numbers close or over 100 million followers.

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