Chinese Twitter clone Sina Weibo will soon have more monthly active users than Twitter itself.
Sina Weibo was created as a Chinese alternative to Twitter in 2009. Due to China’s strict censorship rules many social media apps such as Facebook and Twitter are banned, leading to the rise of copycat apps that operate within the confines of what has become known as the “Great Firewall of China.” Despite the apps’ glaring similarities, there’s virtually no competition between the companies or overlap of their userbase due to the inability of Sina Weibo to operate outside of China.
Sina Weibo seems to be excelling in monthly active user growth, an area that Twitter has had issues with recently. Weibo revealed in its latest financial report that the social media service now has 313 million users active each month. In comparison, Twitter has 319 million active monthly users. Weibo’s user growth has increased at a steady pace of 30% year-on-year since the company went public in the US in 2014, while Twitter’s user growth has mostly flatlined as the company struggles to attract new users.
Based on Sina Weibo’s current rate of growth, it’s almost a certainty that the company will have more monthly active users than Twitter at the release of the company’s next quarterly earnings report.
On February 13th of this year, Weibo surpassed Twitter in another metric when the company’s market cap rose past Twitter’s for the first time. Weibo also exceeded their projected revenue goals, as their quarterly earnings report showed that their net revenue climbed 43% year-on-year to $213 million while net profit increased 125% from a year ago to $43 million.
Weibo has turned a profit at this point, unlike Twitter which has continued to lose money. Weibo has focused on expanding their platform to include as many features as possible within their app by integrating YouTube- and Instagram-style features, encouraging users to use Weibo exclusively for their social media needs. Weibo plans to enter China’s booming live-streaming industry in coming months.