1. What’s Sina Weibo?
- Weibo is a social media platform which provide blog-like service invented by Sina.com. “Weibo” (微博) is the Chinese word for “microblog”.It was launched by Sina Corporation on 14 August 2009. By the third quarter of 2015, Sina Weibo has 222 million subscribers and 100 million daily users. About 100 million messages are posted each day on Sina Weibo. In November 2016, Sina canceled 140 characters limitation so that all the normal users could post their blog of more than 2000 characters.
- Compared with Twitter
Weibo is considered to be the social media platform that is most similar to twitter in China. Research shows that there are quite some differences between how Weibo is used in China and Twitter is used in other countries. Not only do users of Sina Weibo publish more posts than those on Twitter, they also tend to disclose more personal information about themselves. They are more active in reacting on other people and sharing their views. While topics discussed on Twitter are often linked to institutions and companies, users of Sina avoid talking about (political) organizations or other institutions. The idea that Weibo is used in a more ‘personal’ way is supported by the fact that Sina Weibo users publish 19% more posts during the weekends. This in contrast to Twitter, where people post 11% less tweets on weekends than they do on weekdays.
On 9 April 2013, Alibaba Group announced that it would acquire 18 percent of Sina Weibo for $586 million, with an option to buy up to 30 percent in the future. Now Alibaba owns 32 percent of Sina Weibo.
In cooperation with internet censorship in China, Sina sets strict controls over the posts on its services. Posts with links using some URL shortening services, or containing blacklisted keywords, are not allowed on Sina Weibo. Posts on politically sensitive topics are deleted after manual checking.
However compared to other Chinese media formats, Weibo services are seen as allowing greater freedom of speech. Criticism against the Chinese government is more widespread on Sina Weibo and other weibo services.
- How to use:
-Post: characters, images, videos
-Repost: reposting when keep the original content, also add new comment
-Follow: known as “fans” or “followers”
-Search: Use hashtag# to gather information
-Private message: the message could only be seen by one, realizing private conversation
2.Users and Their Followers
Sina Weibo has an identification policy. It is like Twitter’s verified account which could verify the identity of famous person, organization and so on. Once a user gets through the verification on the internet, a colorful V will be added behind their username. An orange V is for people while a blue one is for organizations and companies.
- How many followers? (most popular accounts)
-The top three who got most followers in China:
Xie na, Chen kun, Yao chen.（All in show and entertainment industry）
(More than 90 million followers)
(More than 80 million followers)
(More than 80 million followers)
-Some famous international users
Leonardo (Followers: 1399605)
Beckham (Followers: 5712555)Tom Cruise (Followers: 5355854)
Trudeau (Followers: 107662)
3. Some Statistics About Weibo
4. Copyright Protection
As the popularity of Chinese social media increases in recent years, many users love to post their artworks, paintings and original music on Sina Weibo. The main aim is not only share with friends and followers, but also attract companies to buy their artworks. However, some images from Weibo were used for the commercial purpose with out any permission.
Various methods that users use for copyright protection:
-Watermark: In Weibo, when you finish posted your photos, it will automatically generate a watermark that include your users name and URL on the right bottom of the photo. However, it is not very effective since the “thief” may cut the bottom of the image and re-use by add his/her own watermark.
-Special text: Many users choose to add some big text or unique well-designed watermark to almost cover the main part/theme of the images.This method adds difficulty for the image theft.
-Some users directly said on their Weibo, “everyone can repost my photos or content, but you need to “@” my Weibo account name and also mentioned that it is not my original work and forward from others”; as well as link back to original user account in order to avoid the image theft.
5. Weibo & Institutions
- Museum: National Museum of China
he Weibo account of National Museum of China is a highly activated account, its post includes the live events and exhibitions forecasting, explanation and instructions of its exhibitions, interview videos of its chief curators and other curators from the world, behind scene stories and back stories of its art pieces, official magazine updating, etc. It is highly interactive with the personal account of its curators and other domestic and foreign institutions. What makes it different with other two institutions is the back ground stories and behind scene post which give many new information and interpretation of those art pieces of exhibition.
- Library: Peking University Library
Peking University Library has a collection of more than 8 million printed books , 200 million digital books, and 56 thousand pieces of audio material. The Weibo account of Peking University Library is a highly activated social media account, the content of its post includes new collections, live events forecasting, share of students art pieces of both images and videos, employment posting, etc. Rather merely being an account of the library, it is more like an service account of all students and instructors from broader perspective. It has a positive interaction with students account, reposting students art works daily. The latest video posted by the account is 110 year anniversary micro movie of the library made by the students.
- Archive: Zhejiang Archive
The Weibo account of Zhejiang Archive is a more bureaucratic and political account, most of its posting is about official events or seminars, or leadership activities. It is a news-updating account, which seldom post any content related to its collections or interact with any other personal or institutional accounts.
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By JoJo(Ningjiao) Han and Joy(Shunzhi) Xu