Flipboard found itself in the spotlight in 2010 as it was named Apple iPad’s App of the Year after turning the iPad into a personalized digital magazine, pulling content from users’ social networks and other websites. Unfortunately, it also caught China’s attention, which didn’t like the content it was collecting. Flipboard’s ability to circumvent the Great Firewall of China, providing uncensored access to Facebook and ‘banned’ media, led to it being blocked in May.
A recently circulated job vacancy indicates Flipboard is on its way back (see below) to the Middle Kingdom.
China’s netizens log-on more for entertainment (games, celebrities, gossip) while the West’s do so more for information (search, e-commerce, productivity). A new study [download] by HP Labs on ‘topics that trend’ confirms that this old image holds true in aggregate for Sina Weibo vs. Twitter too.
3 Key Findings, Sina Weibo vs. Twitter
1) Sina Weibo is more for entertainment, Twitter is more for news.
2) Retweets are ‘several orders of magnitude greater’ on Sina Weibo than Twitter, though Weibo retweets also often include original commentary.
3) Sina Weibo creates fame, whereas Twitter enhances pre-existing fame.
Twitter is blocked in China. Sina Weibo is working on an English-language version and has other languages in the works. But the first real test of whether Sina Weibo has any potential outside of Chinese-language users should be Japan.
Sina has announced that Japanese firm FindJapan will serve as its partner to introduce Weibo to Japan. FindJapan will act as an agent to help local Japanese companies and public figures verify their accounts, as well as provide maintain a and further maintenance services including translation and posting of contents.
What more can Sina Weibo offer users? They can offer their 140 million users tools to track and monitor their own Weibo accounts, and that is exactly what Sina did by launching data.weibo.com. The site allows users to monitor their own accounts on a weekly basis–user data is analyzed from the last 7 days and presented in 5 main categories…
A number of social media addicts, experts, and spammers have asked me how to post to Twitter and Sina Weibo simultaneously. The best answer I’ve found to-date is a groovy Chrome Extension called FaWave.
3 months ago I posted Sina Weibo Launches Groups, Threatens China Social Networks, that was when Sina Weibo the Chinese Twitter introduced Groups in their micro-blog service, back then it was a huge step ahead in forming a proper SNS that stood up and challenged the traditional SNS sites such as RenRen and Kaixin in China. Yesterday Sina took another revolutionary step by introducing Multi-media Weibo (Tweet).
Twitter is virtually nonexistent in China–yes, there are some foreigners and international Chinese who run VPNs to access Twitter–but their numbers are dwarfed by the users of China’s homegrown microblog services. Microblogging started growing fast in the second quarter of 2009, adding users at a speed that shames their western counterparts.
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