China’s Twitter, Sina Weibo users are more interested in Entertainment than in News

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China’s popular microblogging platform Sina Weibo is growing at a rapid pace. The site has over 140 million users, 50 million active monthly users, and has over 10 million new accounts signing up each month, according to a latest report by Guardian.

Social networkers can’t stop comparing Sina Weibo and Twitter as the two sites have a lot of similarities, but a new research done by HP Labs , says that Sina Weibo and Twitter are completely different when it comes to the content being shared by the users and the conversations that dominate the two sites.

Here are some of the major differences between Sina  Weibo and Twitter, as pointed out by the HP research:

Sina Weibo users share more of entertainment and lifestyle related content. The top 10 retweeted users on Sina share content about topics such as Fashion, Travel, Gourmet, Horoscopes, Jokes, Movies, Music etc. This is completely different from the news related content being shared on Twitter and the discussions that happen on Twitter about current events.

In China’s Twitter, a significantly large percentage of posts are “retweets” (a re-posting of another user’s tweet) and the trends that are formed are entirely caused by retweets. In contrast, the HP research shows that the effect of retweets , although substantial, is not that large on Twitter, as it is on Sina.

Sina Weibo has more unverified accounts among the top 100 trend-setters on the site, when compared to Twitter, and most of the unverified accounts feature discussion forums for user-contributed videos, images, and humor.

This trend being pointed out by the HP research is not absolute though, according to the researchers. “It is important to note that the differences in behavior between the two user bases are relative and not absolute. The study doesn’t suggest that news-sharing does not occur on Sina Weibo, because it certainly does.  However, our experiment does show that this type of behavior was relatively less common than on Twitter during the trial period,” says Bernardo Huberman, director of HP’s Social Computing lab and one of the authors of this research.

Want to know more about this study? You can find the complete report here.

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