WILL WEIBO TAKE OVER TWITTER?
Sina Weibo (Chinese twitter) is China’s leading microblogging site. Many believe it will soon become the #1 microblogging site globally.
Internet restrictions by the Chinese government has caused several western social networks (e.g. Facebook, twitter) difficulty from entering the market, while native platforms like Sina Weibo thrive.
Why microblogging is critical to China’s infrastructure?
2010 was the “Year of the Microblog in China”, with a massive growth in the marketplace, Weibo (just like twitter) can produce unique insights which have enormous commercial value as it captures users’ posts filled with various metadata, such as location, time, theme and sentiment.
Properly analyzed and interpreted, this data can facilitate much better decision making as well as more effective day-to-day implementation of strategy based on customer feedback.
For China, whom ever has control over all of this rich data must be familiar trustworthy and a reliable partner. Sina Weibo fits in nicely here; says Gady Epstein in Forbes, revealing the senior leadership of Sina has close ties with the highest echelons of the Chinese Communist Party.
Global Opinion Leaders and Trend setters turn to Weibo
Now, as China becomes the most important global market, more and more people and businesses from around the world are looking to access to this market.
Bill Gates is on Weibo with over 1 million followers. Tom Cruise recently set up a Weibo account and currently has more than 1 million followers (he has 1.5 million on Twitter), The NBA has an official Sina Weibo account with over 5-million followers (about 3-million more than its followers on Twitter.)
Even U.K. band Radiohead, which has spoken out on China’s human rights record, has now set up an account on Sina Weibo.
But it is not just celebrities and athletes joining in the ‘craze’. Airlines, fashion labels, banking institutions even property developers are jumping on the weibo bandwagon.
As the number of Sina Weibo users match and surpass Twitter’s current user base of 200 million, we can expect to see many more international opinion leaders following this lead.
So What is Next for Weibo?
With the populations of Taiwan (23,071,779), Hong Kong (7,122,508) and Singapore (4,740,737) they seem the likely next move.
But don’t forget the 35 million overseas Chinese living and working in 151 countries?
So, will Weibo achieve a global take over?
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