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What Weibo? Find out how 'Twitter Chinese' works | Social networks

What Weibo? This name may be unknown in Brazil, but extremely popular in China. Weibo a Chinese microblog whose platform follows the style of Twitter. The Chinese government tests Western social networks like Facebook, YouTube or Instagram and has great control over citizens' Internet usage. Thus, Chinese access alternative platforms to connect online.

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For example, WeChat, a famous messenger in China, a "replacement" for WhatsApp in the country. Weibo is a social network that resembles Twitter both in terms of functionality and interface. The microblog is well known and has millions of Chinese users. Learn more about Weibo below.

Weibo a Chinese microblog similar to Twitter Photo: Divulgao / WeiboWeibo a Chinese microblog similar to Twitter Photo: Divulgao / Weibo

Weibo a Chinese microblog similar to Twitter Photo: Divulgao / Weibo

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Weibo is a microblogging service created in 2009 by the Chinese company Sina Corporation. This is indicated by the original name of the social network: Sina Weibo. The platform's address has changed over the years, as the Chinese have shortened the title of the social network and started calling it just Weibo. Incidentally, the name of the self-explanatory platform: "Weibo" () means, in free translation, microblog.

In 2013, Weibo passed the 600 million registered user mark. In a recent survey, it was found that 43.7% of users of the platform are women, and 56.3% men. In addition, the public is composed mainly of young users, most of them under 30 years old.

Weibo resembles Twitter a lot in the configuration of its posts Photo: Reproduo / Mirella StivaniWeibo resembles Twitter a lot in the configuration of its posts Photo: Reproduo / Mirella Stivani

Weibo resembles Twitter a lot in the configuration of its posts Photo: Reproduo / Mirella Stivani

The social network resisted the launch of Chinese competitors such as WeChat, Toutiao, Zhihu and Douyin, who follow the same content line as the original site. Despite the growing competition, Weibo remains the most popular and accessed social network in the country, so it has a very profitable revenue from advertisers and paid posts.

Like Twitter and Facebook, Weibo users view posts sponsored by large companies that reach millions of people quickly. As the platform offers a wide reach, some Western beverage companies, clothing brands and even celebrities have official accounts on Weibo in order to get closer to the Chinese, as other social networks are banned in the Asian country.

Weibo can be used on smartphones, including Apple's. Photo: Reproduo / Mirella StivaniWeibo can be used on smartphones, including Apple's. Photo: Reproduo / Mirella Stivani

Weibo can be used on smartphones, including Apple's. Photo: Reproduo / Mirella Stivani

Weibo's interface is very similar to that of Twitter, as it served as a direct inspiration for the Chinese social network. In the early years, the site also limited the content of publications to 140 characters, but increased the limit to 2,000 words in 2016. The platform accepts, in addition to text posts, other types of media, such as videos or images.

So, as much as Weibo "copied" Twitter at the beginning of its trajectory, nowadays the Chinese social network poses as a mixture of the western microblog with Facebook, due to the inclusion of new functions. Similar features between the two platforms include the ability to view news, share music, videos and photos directly from the phone and send private messages. In addition to access via the microblog site (weibo.com), the Weibo application is available for Android and iPhone phones (iOS).

Who can register with Weibo?

There are no restrictions for a user to sign up for Weibo and create a profile on the social network. However, in practice the process is complicated due to the language barrier. As the site interface is completely in Mandarin, if you do not know the language, I need to use an online translator, such as Google Translate, to navigate the site.

This also affects the tracking and sharing of posts on Weibo. In addition to the language issue, the Chinese government's strict attitude on the Internet should be considered. So you need to be careful with comments, texts, images or videos that may be offensive for not following the country's rules of conduct.

To register with Weibo, the user needs to provide an email address or cell phone number with the area code of China and fill in some personal data, a procedure very similar to Twitter or Facebook, for example. Confirmation of registration can be validated by SMS or email message. After this stage, it is now possible to publish or follow profiles on Weibo.

Via WalkTheChat and What's On Weibo

Social networks that (almost) everyone has used

Social networks that (almost) everyone has used