By Lauren Dugan on June 20, 2012 12:00 PM
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Posts Tagged ‘Weibo’
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Twitter’s co-founder and Chairman Jack Dorsey says that Twitter simply can’t compete in China – but it’s not Twitter’s fault.
There’s been some talk that China’s answer to Twitter, Weibo, will be coming to the US in a matter of months. Weibo and Twitter both offer 140 characters as their maximum, but, interestingly, 140 characters in Chinese is not the same as 140 characters in the Roman alphabet that English and many other speakers use. In fact, you can fit in almost five times as much meaning on Weibo as you can on Twitter.
Weibo, the Chinese Twitter hybrid launched by SINA in August 2009, plans to release an English language version of the platform in the United States in the next 2-3 months, bringing it into direct competition with Twitter, reports PaidContent, citing the the Chinese technology site TechWeb.
Weibo, which dominates the microblogging landscape in China with 140 million users and millions of updates each day, offers a more feature-rich experience than Twitter, with extras such as message threading, groups and polling functionality. But would that be enough to tempt Western users to switch?
Within China, Twitter is basically non-existent: people use Weibo, instead, a similar service previously available only in Chinese. On Monday, the Chinese company released an English translation of its iPhone app that has many wondering if it is planning to compete directly with Twitter in the future. Here is my take on what Weibo needs to do if it wants to stand a chance against the entrenched Twitter.