It’s not just interesting that Cruise — or probably his staff, as the “CIO” indicates (how crazy is it that Tom Cruise has a CIO?) — is on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter, but that he mentions that it has a lot more functionality than America’s Twitter. (Update: Of course, CIO could just stand for “check it out.” It would still be much cooler if Tom Cruise had a CIO.)
A few reasons why Cruise might be plugging Weibo:
- He wants to establish a social media presence in China; China is becoming a bigger and bigger presence in movies, and the prevalence of piracy makes this a tricky market; getting people into the cinemas on opening night through a real time social platform as opposed to buying a pirated DVD a day later could make the difference between profit and loss;
- He wants to establish social media/international cred;
- He (or his staff) just likes Weibo better.
It’s correct, by the way, that Weibo has more functionality than Twitter. First of all, of course, 140 Chinese characters translates to a lot more words than 140 Western characters. And crucially, Weibo has added pictures, in-stream replies, groups and other features that make it much closer to a full-featured social network than a Twitter clone.
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Here’s Cruise’s tweet: