China’s second-most popular microblogging service, Tencent Weibo, launched their English version last week to target the international market. For the first time, non-Chinese speaking users can sample a little taste of Weibo, the Chinese social networking phenomenon.
Tencent Weibo, according to the company’s latest quarterly earnings report, has reached 233 million users, and from June 115 million active users.
The truth internet companies are terribly secretive about some of the key figures of their social sites that included the number of total registered users and the most crucial one, monthly active users. When figures are released they tended to be out of proportion or simply down right false. Then how do we know if these sites are active or not, especially compared to their competitors? Well, one important aspect of socializing online is sharing contents to your friends and I have compiled data from China’s top social button provider Jiathis.com from the last six months to show the trend of activeness of the top 5 social sites: QZone, Tencent Weibo, Sina Weibo, Renren and Kaixin001.
CNNIC (China Internet Information Network Center – 中国互联网信息中心) is the official Chinese state agency in charge of registering and managing internet domains (.CN) and traffic. Every six months the research department of CNNIC publish a set of reports updating on the latest growth on China’s internet, it is considered the most detailed source of data but also the least credible. Still nevertheless CNNIC’s semi-annual internet research report does provide an overview of China’s internet trends and insights to it’s future.
Our team at iChinaStock created a slideshare “Inside Tencent Weibo.” In the process, it became clear that it’s impossible to introduce Tencent Weibo independently of Tencent’s other social services: QQ Messenger, Qzone (nickname SNS), and Pengyou (real-name SNS). Tencent Weibo is available inside of each–you never even have to go to t.qq.com to be a Tencent Weibo user.
In US terms, Tencent’s social hub is as if AIM, MySpace, Facebook, and Twitter were owned by one company, and all cross-promoted and synced to each other. That also explains part of Tencent’s surely inflated user numbers–content is often synced across Tencent’s social services by default, but counts as an “active user” on each.
Renren.com (人人网) filed F-1 for IPO to the U.S SEC on April 15, the first major step in the road to an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange as “RENN”. So how will Renren fare?
Renren is China’s largest real-name social network, created by Wang Xing back in late (December) 2005. It was initially a clone of Facebook called Xiaonei (校内), with college students as the main users just as Facebook was before opening to all.
Today Sina Weibo launched two new domain names (URL) weibo.com and weibo.cn (Open API Platform & WAP address), which should help Sina dominate the microblog market and venture further into social networking.
How? Weibo means microblog in Chinese (微博), so Sina is now literally in control of www.microblog.com for China. Sina’s major competitors, Tencent Weibo and Sohu Weibo, also refer to their services as “weibo,” so the new URL is a coup for Sina.
Charles Chao (CEO of Sina) and his 1000-employee strong Sina Weibo team is becoming a much more serious threat to Chinese SNS sites such as RenRen and Kaixin001 than Twitter ever was for Facebook.
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).
tips [at] techrice [dot] com