Sina Weibo launched in August 2009, and is often referred to as ‘the Chinese Twitter’. It’s a microblogging service, which like Twitter, had a limit of 140 characters. However, the limit was scrapped in January 2016.
It was initially viewed as the biggest social platform in China, however, censorship introduced in March 2012, led to a 30% reduction in activity. More recently, Weibo has started to bounce back – and as of 2015, there were over 236 million active monthly users.
In terms of marketing opportunities, Weibo allows businesses to create fan pages. International companies are already experiencing success on the platform. Tourism New Zealand signed up Chinese actress Yao Chen as their brand ambassador in 2011. During her tour of New Zealand she posted regular updates to her 40 million followers, which resulted in 500,000 visits to the campaign site – and 20,000 referrals.
Both WeChat & Weibo can work hand-in-hand – with the difference between the two platforms summed up nicely by Jing Daily in 2015…
“[Sina Weibo] offers branding opportunities that are quite different from those of WeChat. Where WeChat is more about 1:1 communications and personalised interactions with fans, Weibo is useful for reaching a mass audience with viral posts.”