Comparision between Weibo and Twitter

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Handout for a presentation (http://www.slideshare.net/minghuiyu/weibo-in-china-weibo-vs-twitter) . Weibo vs. Twitter in terms of functionalists. Comparisons were based on Weibo's and Twitter's …

Handout for a presentation (http://www.slideshare.net/minghuiyu/weibo-in-china-weibo-vs-twitter) . Weibo vs. Twitter in terms of functionalists. Comparisons were based on Weibo's and Twitter's official functions as of Sep 2013.

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  • 1. In Twitter, it is: In Weibo, it is: Each entry Tweet Weibo Republish Retweet Retweet, not RT Forward In Chinese, it is 转发 To avoid confusion and make it simple, I will call individual Tweet/Weibo “entry” and Retweet/Forward “Republish”. All features comparisons below are based on official web version of Twitter/Weibo. Features only available in custom Twitter/Weibo clients are not considered. Twitter Weibo Length limit of each entry (Figure 1) 140 characters 140 characters But Weibo has more tricks Republish own entry No A user cannot Retweet his own tweet Yes Republish an entry multiple times No A user can only retweet a tweet once. Yes Original entry show one time only (Figure 2) Yes Original tweet appears just once even it was retweeted by different users on your following list. No If n users on your following list forwarded a Weibo, that original Weibo appears on your homepage n times. Republished entry appears on top Does republished entry have a timestamp of when the original entry was published or when it was republished? No. Timestamp of original entry published Even if one of your following users just retweetted one, the one doesn’t appear on top of your homepage. Yes Timestamp of republished moment Forwarded (original) Weibo is always bumped up. Republish credit gives to (Figure 3) The first user on your following list who republished it All users on the republishing path
  • 2. Just leaving comments? Can you just comment on an entry? (Figure 4) No When a user comment on a tweet, the comment becomes this user’s tweet and is available to this users’ followings Yes A user can comment on a Weibo but not forwarding it Republish with quotes (Figure 5) No Retweet is exactly the same as original tweet. Yes Users can add own quotes (e.g.: comments) when forwarding a Webo. Republish path (Figure 6) Not very clear Click “Retweeted by …” can reveal the order of retweeting Very clear Forwarding path is clearly indicated Text as Image (Figure 7) No Yes Users can write a long Weibo (up to 10,000 Chinese letters) and converted it as an image that will be embedded in Weibo. Group management (Figure 8) Basic Twitter’s List provides basic group management features. But “Lists are used for reading Tweets only. You cannot send or direct a Tweet to members of a list, for only those list members to see.” Advanced Can do all Twitter’s List can do plus users can publish a Weibo to specified users only. Protected Entry Yes No
  • 3. Figure 1 Each Tweet can contain up to 140 characters. The definition of “Character” is explained at https://dev.twitter.com/docs/counting-characters Weibo has similar definition but it is more flexible. For example, when you input a URL, no matter how long the URL is, it will only be counted as 10 characters.Iimage below shows that when you input http://www.sina.com.cn (22 characters by Twitter’s definition), it is only counted as 10 in Weibo.it is because Weibo uses short URL and does not count beginning http:// either. For example, http://www.sina.com.cn is converted to http://t.cn/h5mh9 and t.cn/h5mh9 has 10 characters. In Twitter, http://www.sina.com.cn is exactly counted as 22 characters. Similarly, when you input an emotion icon using Weibo’s syntax, for example: [good] for Thumb Up , it is only counter as 3 characters instead of 6.
  • 4. Figure 2 This Weibo user (A) follows 人民日报 (B) and 红拂丽丽 (C).B’s original Weibo was forwarded by C. Consequently, on A’s homepage, A will see the original Weibo twice: once from B directly, once through C’s forwarding.
  • 5. Figure 3: This Twitter user follows both Gregor Robertson and QI Vancouver, who both retweeted one tweet from Kevin Quinlan. On this user’s homepage, retweeted credit is given to QI Vancouver instead of Gregor Robertson because QI Vancouver retweeted this tweet earlier than Gregor Robertson In Weibo, however, credit is given to all users who are on the path of Forwarding. For example, this user (A) follows both “nadiaxiao” (B) and 加西网 (C) but not Gregor Robertson’s Weibo account 罗品信 Gregor (D). The path of forwarding is C  B. The AT sign gives credit to both B and C.
  • 6. Figure 4 In Weibo, a user can just leave comments on a Weibo. There is a check box that allows a user to leave comment and forward his comment to this user’s timeline as well (aka Republishing with Quotes).
  • 7. Figure 5 Unlike Twitter, Weibo by default allows quoted forward. Users can add own quotes, usually comments as well, when forwarding a Weibo. The length limit of all quotes (can be from multiple users) is also 140 Chinese letters.
  • 8. Figure 6 Information below shows that among all my following users, QI Vancouver first retweeted the original tweet, followed by Gregor Robertson. In Weibo, it is easier to find forwarding path. Image below clearly indicates the original Weibo from Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia, was first forwarded by A, then B and finally by Gregor Robertson.
  • 9. Figure 7 Weibo has a built-in function to allow you publish a long Weibo, or blog (up to 10,000 Chinese letters). Text will be converted to an image and embedded in Weibo. Summary (first 140 Chinese letters) and thumbnail will be generated automatically. Screenshot below is the edit interface when adding a long Weibo. Screenshot below shows how the long Weibo looks like:
  • 10. Figure 8 Twitter’s group management is through “Lists”. Weibo has more advanced group management. Like Twitter’s Lists, Weibo’s Group allows you to create groups freely and add users to groups. You can read Weibo from specified groups only. Weibo also allows you to publish Weibo to specified groups only. For example, you can publish a Weibo to your co-workers only.