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Inside Sina Weibo

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  • 1. Inside Sina Weibo Bill Bishop  Twitter @niubi Weibo @billbishop http://www.digicha.com January 2011
  • 2. Sina
      • Top Online media firm in China, established leader in news, entertainment, blogging, # 23 Global Site by Traffic-Comscore June 2010
      • Founded in 1990s in California by Stanford graduates, listed April 2000, NASDAQ:SINA $6.8B Market Cap
      • Leading display advertising firm, approximately $300m+ advertising revenue in 2010 out of $400m total 2010 revenue
      • Launched Weibo ( 微博 , literally microblog) August 2009
      • Popular for years with celebrities and elite of media, entertainment, sports, business, academia, and government due to blogging platform, rapidly shifted them to Weibo
      • Stock has nearly quadrupled since first Wall Street analyst (SIG) report focused on Weibo in Q2 2010; likely to spin out Weibo and list separately
  • 3. Short But Explosive History of Weibo In China
      • Weibo (Way-Bwah 微博 ) literally means microblog
      • Blogging popular in China for years, and Bulletin Board Services (BBS) far more popular than in West
      • First Weibos launched in 2008 as Twitter clones. TaoTao (Tencent), Jiwai, Fanfou among others, none got significant traction
      • Fanfou shut July 2009 after Urumqi riots, went back online late 2010 but game over for them
      • Sina Weibo launched August 2009, with approval from PRC regulators
      • Tencent, Sohu, Netease, Shanda, Baidu among others all have Weibo-clones,
      • 8m Chinese Weibo users in 2009, 80-100m+ by end of 2010
      • Tencent claims 100m+ microblog users, more than Sina Weibo. But Sina has quality, elite users over Tencent’s “great unwashed”
  • 4. Sina Weibo Key Facts
      • Easily moved celebrities and elite of media, entertainment, sports, business, academia, and government from Sina blogging platform to Sina Weibo
      • Product designed to fit Chinese user behavior; message threading, ability to add extended comments more like BBS 2.0 than a pure Twitter “clone”
      • Extremely stable platform; had a handful of outages, none more than a couple of hours
      • Sina executive: 100m+ users, growing 10m a month, expects 150m by end of 2011
      • 60,000 verified accounts under real name system, top 100 users have a combined 180m followers
      • 5,000 companies and 2,700 media organizations have Weibo accounts
      • 25-30m “tweets”/day, peaked at 12,374/sec Chinese New Year’s Day
      • Approximately 40% usage from mobile
      • Youku inline videos played 1.3m+ /day on Sina Weibo (Nov. data)
      • 2000 attendees at inaugural developers conference in November 2010, opening platform, give developers 70-30 split of revenues
      • Established 200m RMB fund with VCs including Sequoia to invest in App developers
  • 5. Sina Weibo Key Features
      • 140 characters per tweet, but you can say far more in 140 Chinese characters than in English letters
      • Followers called “fans”-most popular is actress Yao Chen with 6m+ fans
      • Inline photos and videos, emoticons, and song lyrics, either from Sina’s own services or 3rd Party
      • Direct uploading of videos, voice-to-weibo service through mobile phones
      • Native iOS, Android and Symbian apps
      • Hierarchical comments to original tweet, easy to follow and participate in coversations-BBS 2.0
      • Portal-like page (Weibo Square) highlighting celebrity users, hot topics, hot tweets-facilitates discovery
      • Groups (Beta) and Lists--set up or join groups around interests, create private lists of users
      • Events-schedule meetings, parties etc and invite your followers
      • Voting-create questions, poll users
      • Trends-highlights hot topics across dozens of categories by hour, day, week. Data goldmine
      • “ Grab a Couch”-meet new friends by sex, location, interests
      • "Open" Platform, hundreds of third party apps
      • Must be logged in to view messages and user profiles
      • LBS service Weilingdi 微领地 launched 3.2011
      • Group buying aggregator Weituan 微团 launched 3.2011
      • SNS-like profiles rumored to be rolling out soon
  • 6. Monetization & Competitive Strategy
      • Sina Weibo has seen minimal revenue generation to date
      • Sina leading non-search advertising firm in China, Weibo demographic very attractive, advertising expected to ramp quickly
      • SIG Susquehanna analyst-”We forecast Sina Weibo will generate $10 mln, $45 mln and $100 mln in ad revenue in 2011, 2012 and 2013, respectively (see Figure 2). For the corresponding periods, social apps revenue is assumed to be $0 mln, $10 mln and $20 mln. By 2013, we believe Sina will likely have 10K paying business accounts, with average ad revenue of $10K per account annually.”
      • No word yet on plans to sell Weibo data “Firehose”; Baidu currently a competitor, Google increasingly irrelevant in China, government may object to searchable feed outside of Sina
      • Recently opened platform, launched App channel including games, will split revenue with developers 30% to Sina 70% to developers
      • SNS Market in China crowded and competitive; Sina attacking indirectly through Weibo, has already taken share from Kaixin001, leading “white-collar” SNS
      • 3.2001 launched group buying aggregator "Weituan" 微团 , LBS service "Weilingdi" 微领地
      • China not a winner-take-all market in microblogging or SNS; Sina has elite users and will compete successfully with Tencent on quality if not quantity
  • 7. A Look Inside Weibo
  • 8. Weibo Front, Not-Logged In
  • 9. My Home Page
  • 10. Discovery Hub-“Weibo Square”
  • 11. Top Trends
  • 12. A Tweet With Media and Conversation Click to expand inline media, videos play “inside” the tweet Comments expand to display list of comments to tweet, allows for more robust, engaged, threaded “conversations” Click “Comment” Link To Expand List Click Picture To Expand
  • 13. “ Retweeting” Retweet with up to 140 additional characters
  • 14. Groups
  • 15. A Group Front Page-”Singles Hazard”
  • 16. Events
  • 17. Voting/Polling
  • 18. Apps
  • 19. Group Buying Aggregator "Weituan" 微团
  • 20. Location Based Service (LBS) "WeiLingDi" 微领地
  • 21. Weibo Gaming Channel
  • 22. Find Friends
  • 23. Thank You Bill Bishop Twitter @niubi Weibo @Billbishop http://www.digicha.com January 2011