Sina Weibo aims to take down Twitter with US version

sina-weibo-logoBelieve it or not, there are other microblogging services in the world besides Twitter. And now one of them, China’s highly-popular Sina Weibo, is preparing to make itself known in the English-speaking world.

According to The Next Web (via Chinese-language site TechWeb), Sina Weibo (pronounced ‘way-bore’) is “actively preparing” to release an English version of its platform in the United States  that will directly compete with Twitter. The service could be ready in as little as two to three months, say sources familiar with the matter.

So, just how much of a threat is Sina Weibo to Twitter? It’s difficult to say at this point, but the numbers don’t look so great from Twitter’s standpoint. Sina Weibo, a kind of Twitter-Facebook hybrid, currently has about 140 million users, and the company expects to reach 200 million by the end of this year. Compare that to Twitter, which only has about 300 million users worldwide, approximately 20 million of which live in the United States.

Those numbers are difficult to compare directly, however, as China has a population of 1.4 billion, and the United States only about 307 million. Also, the popularity of Sina Weibo in China doesn’t mean the service can breakthrough in the US. It probably does mean that Twitter wouldn’t stand a chance in China. But the same may be true for Sina Weibo here in The States.

Unfortunately for Twitter, its penetration in the US market is still relatively low — only about 13 percent of American adults use Twitter, according to a recent Pew study. But that’s a marketed improvement over 2010, at which time only 8 percent had a Twitter account.

Sina Weibo’s US debut would represent the first major Chinese social network to launch in the United States. But considering the Chinese government’s stranglehold on free speech in-country, which highly restricts what users can and cannot say on Sina Weibo, it will be interesting to see if the American version takes a different approach to censorship. If not, don’t expect much of a fight.

News

Facebook no longer lets you save your friends’ birthdays to your own calendar

Facebook quietly removed a feature that allowed users to export and sync their friends’ birthdays to an external calendar like iCal or Google Calendar. While you can still export upcoming events -- parties, get-togethers, and the like --…
Social Media

Looking to share some content? Here's how to repost on Instagram

Have you ever seen a cool picture on Instagram that you wanted to share? There's no official means of reposting content on Instagram, but there are a few workarounds. We break down the two most logical choices for getting the job done.
Mobile

Bitmoji lets you create personalized emojis to spice up your online chats

Looking for more interesting ways to use emoji when chatting? Bitmoji are personalized emoji that you design to look just like you -- and then create a whole keyboard of stickers that you can use with them. Here's what you should know.
Social Media

Your Twitter name can change with the times, just like you do — here's how

Despite what you may or may not have heard, Twitter names aren't actually set in stone. Check out our quick-hit guide on how to change your Twitter username and display name in less than five minutes.
News

Reddit is finally back online after an hours-long desktop outage

Reddit is back online for desktop users after an hours-long outage early Thursday morning. Reddit's status page said it was still investigating some residual issues, so users may still have some trouble accessing the site. 
Social Media

Here’s why Twitter went down for an hour earlier on Thursday

Twitter is finally back online after going down for users around the globe late Thursday morning. The hour-long disruption made Twitter the latest major social media network to go offline over the past month
Social Media

Facebook now allows you to opt out of those ads that target your tastes

Tired of seeing Facebook ads that aren’t relevant to you? Now you can not only opt out of ads from that company, but you can also see why the ad was shown to you in the first place.
How-To

Stop Facebook from tracking you and using targeted ads with these tips

Facebook and businesses that use the site track what pages you like, your political affiliation, and even try to guess your race. All of this is done so the site can target you with relevant ads. Here's how to opt out.
Social Media

YouTube offers creators more ways to boost their bank accounts

Whether you're a top YouTube creator or just breaking into the game, the video-streaming site has some new features designed to help you please your fans and increase your bank balance.
News

President Trump attacks Facebook Libra, says it’s not dependable like the dollar

President Trump attacked Facebook's new Libra cryptocurrency on Thursday, claiming it will have "little standing or dependability" and that Facebook would need to seek a banking charter if it wanted to move forward.
Social Media

The FTC will hit Facebook with a $5 billion fine over privacy violations

Facebook has agreed to a $5 billion settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its numerous “privacy missteps." Once it goes through, this would be the largest FTC fine for a major technology company – and a huge chunk of…
News

Lua uses animated emotions to help you keep your plants happy and healthy

The Lua Smart Planter is currently seeking funding on Indiegogo to make this smiling plant pot a reality. The device helps you take care of your plants by showing their needs through a series of animated faces.
Mobile

Flex your thumbs (and your brain) with these fun texting games

Gaming consoles keep getting more advanced, but you can still have fun with the good old Latin alphabet. Here are our picks for the best texting games, so you can make the most fun out of that limited data plan or basic cell phone.
News

Facebook says it won’t launch Libra until regulators are happy

Facebook says it won’t roll out its Libra cryptocurrency until it’s fully addressed regulatory concerns – though it added that regulation of the currency itself would largely happen in Switzerland, not the U.S.