It was a matter of time, Twitter’s penetration of the online US market is low, under 10% of internet users have a Twitter account, the conclusion - Twitter needs more users outside the U.S.
Twitter are now venturing into the unchartered territory of China. Whilst the obvious solution would be to tap into the vast Asian population, there might be a slight barrier. Enter, Chinese tech company Sina Corporation (SINA) better known as the Cantonese/Mandarin version of Twitter. If that is not enough they call it Weibo (pronounced ‘way-bore’)....naturally.
Weibo is a hybrid of functions, tackling both facebook and twitter. Providing a more alluring hook to the residents of China. So the question stands why would twitter even think about competing.
Weibo trumps Twitter:
Weibo has 5 million more users
Weibo has 100 million users, about the same percentage of China’s domestic population
Both have 140 characters, hardly much of a vote of confidence.
Re-affirmed by Gang Lu, founding editor of China tech news site Tech Node, Weibo is “now the most powerful social media channel in China” and that “the integrated nature of Sina’s products can be expected to attract more consumers,”
But lets flip it this situation, Twitters user growth in Asia-Pacific already outnumber those in North America and Western Europe, “accounting for 32.8% of all Twitter users, compared with just 23.7% in North America, the report says. By 2018, the Asia-Pacific region will account for over a 40% share of Twitter’s user base, while the North American region drops to just 19%.” - James FT, 2014.
Almost a third of all Twitter users across the world are expected to be in Asia at the end of this year, as the messaging platform expands rapidly in the region. Some comfort to investors who have seen a recent slumping share price.
There is fierce competition, yet its healthy. This could breath a new life into the social media space, as we are yet to have a platform which is the leader in all countries. The race is on to be the voice of all nations whilst providing to the demographic at hand.
We should also think about the reality of living in a world where the world where 140 characters provides more often than not useless information that has the power to unite economies.
The hashtag symbol is so powerful that it can become a ubiquitous wrecking force. Whilst connecting and entertaining, we have lost a creative method of connection, entering a world of automation. An issue Marketeers and advertisers have to now conquer or encapsulate daily.