One-time Twitter rival Plurk is back in the headlines this week, thanks to a million-dollar investment from WI Harper Group.

The Canadian startup, seeing the majority of its traffic from Asia and deciding to cede North America to Twitter for the time being, has been restructured and re-headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan.

Need a Plurk refresher?

The social network uses a visual timeline to enable users to communicate emotions with their status updates. Users can like, replurk and comment on the status updates of the people they follow.

According to The Next Web, Plurk boasted 100 million visits per month at its peak, and today has 1 million daily active users. The site recently passed 8 billion status updates (plurks) to date.

So why the movie to Taiwan? Turns out that Taiwan alone accounts for 60% of Plurk’s traffic; plus, as CEO Alvin Woon says, Taiwan has great infrastructure and a funding environment. It’s also close to the company’s other strong markets: Japan, the Philippines and Indonesia.

Some interesting tweaks the Plurk team has made to make it competitive among the social media behemoths:

-Anonymous posting

-Facebook account sync

-Strangeness: “A peculiar mix of dark virtual characters, offensive emoticons and weird user interface (not to mention users with attitude).” -Woon, Plurk CEO

After more than half a decade online, these changes might be with Plurk needs to stay afloat in today’s ultra-competitive social media environment.

What do you think? Are you interested in checking out Plurk? Are you already a user?