Sina Weibo - A Chinese twitter clone?
Hey everyone, I'm very glad to meet all of you here. My name is Qin Hu and I was born and raised in Huangshi, Hubei Province, China. Since 2007, I have been studying International Business Management Studies (IBMS) at HAN University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. Now I am working at a SEM company as a Content Manager intern.
I wonder how many people have heard about Sina Weibo, a Chinese microblog. It was launched in August 2009, and it has become one of the most popular SNS (Social Networking Service) websites in China within a short time. According to its data, there are more than 140 million registered users and it expects to have more than 200 million by the end of this year. (China times)1
There is a hot discussion about Sina Weibo. Some people say Sina Weibo is just a simple copycat of Twitter, and that's its success lies in the fact that twitter has been blocked in China. However, many people just think the opposite, which is that Twitter can learn a lot from Sina Weibo.
In my opinion, there is not much sense to continue discussing whether Twitter can be successful or not in China if it was not blocked. We will never know the answer. Instead, maybe it is time for us to be open-minded and get to know what Sina Weibo exactly is. I admit that it was launched as a clone of Twitter or the combination of Facebook and Twitter. So far, Weibo is still a national microblog with some pretty cool features. So what are they? The following matrix shows the comparison of Twitter and Sina Weibo.
To be clearer, I would like to add the following:
These added features might provide a higher entertainment value and user experience and will also help Sina Weibo's international aspirations.
Sina Weibo made an ambitious move to launch an English version, which is expected to be released by the end of this year. It says that the target groups will be overseas users, who approximately account for more than 10% of its current total users and are mainly overseas Chinese. Foreigners in China also can benefit from the English service.
Although Sina Weibo says the English version of Sina Weibo targets different people than Twitter, there is no doubt that it still will compete with Twitter somehow. So far, I have not heard any news about the reaction of Twitter. If any of you know more about this, just let me know!
All pictures are from:
1: A Chinese website and only in Chinese
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12 June 2013 / 13 June 2013