Many of China’s social networks are bigger than the sites most westerners are familiar with.
In fact, four of the world’s top 12 social networks are China-based. But it’s difficult for non-Chinese to make sense of these sites, and understand what they’re used for and how they differ from one another.
Sina Weibo resembles both Twitter and Facebook. Users are also limited to 140 characters for their posts, but this allows for more depth than Twitter because 140 characters in Chinese is closer to 70 or 80 words in English — more like Facebook. Also, Sina Weibo has a great deal of flexibility in terms of the type of content people can post, and the service’s features.
Tencent Weibo is a microblog that integrates with other Tencent properties, including instant messaging service QQ, and Qzone, a full-service social platform.
WeChat is a messaging-focused app. Renren is very similar to Facebook.
In a separate study of the planet’s top social media networks, which includes an exclusive side-by-side comparison of the world’s largest social properties, we discovered that several of China’s social platforms are larger than some well-known U.S.-based equivalents:
- Facebook (1.15 billion monthly active users (MAUs))
- YouTube (1 billion MAUs)
- Qzone (712 million total users)
- Sina Weibo (500 million total users)
- WhatsApp (350 million MAUs)
- Google+ (327 million MAUs)
- Tumblr (300 million MAUs)
- LINE (275 million total active users)
- Twitter (240 million MAUs)
- WeChat (236 million MAUs)
- Tencent Weibo (220 MAUs)
- LinkedIn (184 MAUs)
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