First Impressions: Chinese Social Media and Their Western Counterparts
July 26, 2012
There is a burgeoning Internet population here in China. Despite Facebook and Twitter not being available within the country, their replacements are widely used by locals who seem to be more and more addicted to these forms of Chinese social media.
Types of Chinese Social Media
Here in China, the social media outlets that you may be used to back home are replaced by the following:
- Facebook is replaced by Renren and kaixin001;
- Twitter is replaced by Sina Weibo; and
- YouTube is replaced by YouKu.
Due to the sheer number of total internet users here in China, the number of subscriptions to these social media is immense. For example, Sina Weibo reports roughly 300 million active users almost all from one country.
You may ask, “What do all of these social media websites mean?” One example of Chinese social media is Weibo or 微博, which means microblogging. Just like Twitter, people use Sina Weibo to express their feelings through micro-messages—along with a 140 character limit. However, some new innovations and features have been implemented here in China. For example, within the last few months, users have been able to use double-hashtags to underline the topic of the message (i.e., #CPG#), follow other people, re-tweet, or better yet, re-weibo—and so on and so forth.
Lastly, the YouTube equivalent here is known as YouKu or 優酷, which means “excellent and cool”. YouKu is used to share homemade videos and other multimedia content. Some of you may have even stumbled upon it at least once while looking to stream a particular video online.