Renee L. Yuning, ENTscope Staff Writer
Like Twitter, Weibo has (or had) a 140-character limit for each post. That’s since been lifted, but only the first 140 characters are displayed to keep a Weibo page’s look and feel neat and to the point. Except this fundamental commonality, compared with the Twitter, which focus its growth on the western countries, Weibo tried to differentiate itself from community building. You will find Weibo is engaging because it is more like Facebook than Twitter is. Users can easily add Pictures, video and emoticons to a Weibo post, which make it a much more “sticky” platform. Weibo also provides various kinds of template for users to choose from, so users can customize their page and create their own styles.
(Interface of Weibo VS Facebook)
According to Motley Fool, Weibo’s strategy of being a Facebook-style social media tool led to its success of overcoming Twitter. For example, Weibo’s cancellation of 140-character limitation demonstrated its open attitude as evolving into a comprehensive platform. Weibo is trying to combine both the advantages of Twitter and Facebook.
(Weibo’s Loading page)
Weibo did a better job in encouraging conversations than Twitter did. Weibo facilitates comments and builds engagement within a community. “It can easily gather thousands of comments, threaded as one. Users not only share and read, but also converse with other users. This is the main feature of social media and caters to the Chinese culture, bustling with noise and excitement,” said Zhou, a Chinese professor from University of Oxford.
At the root of this is a fact that the idea of microblogging resonates with Chinese users more than it does with U.S. and other western users. While the world is one giant global community now, cultural differences remain. Asian consumers think and behave differently than their counterparts on the other side of the globe. As much as Americans are glued to their phones, people in China are more apt to rely on their phone, and use it as a tool to do so much more including sharing things with friends, and non-friends. A Boston Consulting Group study found that Chinese Internet users are online for an average of 2.7 hours per day, considerably more than other developing countries and more on par with usage patterns in Japan and the United States (see Understand and Tap Into China’s Digital Generations).
Numerous factors help drive Chinese, more than other populations, to engage in social media. According to China Business Review, these include rural-to-urban migration that has separated families, the loneliness of the one-child generation, and a distrust of information from government-controlled media. For them, Weibo, is not only a news-delivering mechanisms, but also a tool that they can communicate with the world.
Want to see how Chinese money rushed into Hollywood market? We will offer some in-depth analysis in the upcoming ENTScope article: Right after Wanda’s step, Chinese copper firm acquired the Hollywood’s independent filmmaker Voltage, producer of ‘The Hurt Locker’