QQ Microblog Users Exceed 80 Million
From the article:
"In the web portal era, QQ made use of the QQ platform to easily gain greater traffic than Sina. Entering into the microblog era, Sina has snagged the first-mover advantage to gain the attention of the media and celebrities, growing the number of Sina Microblog users to 50 million. But as QQ makes use of their existing platform to make a counterattack, will Sina's advantage be overcome by QQ once again?"
In the article, Chinese stock website iMeigu interviews the head of QQ's microblog platform, Fang Li (李方). Fang Li reveals that the number of QQ microblog users has already surpassed 80 million. At this rate, and assuming the statistics are genuine, the total number of microblog users on QQ and Sina is now at least 130 million and likely more like 160 million. Combined, the number of microbloggers on QQ and Sina will exceed the number of Twitter users within the first quarter of 2011.
Li Fang says that he believes QQ is the most used microblog in China, but Sina has likely continued to grow rapidly since they last stated they had 50 million users by October 2010, that it's quite possible Sina still has more microbloggers than QQ. Adding 10 million users per month or more, it's likely Sina has at least 80 million microbloggers by now.
When asked why QQ has entered the microblog field even though they are already in the instant messaging and social networking fields, Fang Li responds that QQ sees microblogging as being an explosive form of new media. He says that QQ isn't only an operator of online media, but rather, their core value is in managing connections between users, so it's inevitable that they would enter the microblog field.
Fang Li goes on to say that in QQ's first stage of development, they'll be focusing on media applications and maintaining a strategy similar to their competitors'. In stage two, they will turn to focusing on making full use of the interaction between users.
Fang Li admits that Sina has an advantage when it comes to celebrities, as many more celebrities are using Sina's microblog than are using QQ's, so QQ will continue to try their best to attract celebrities to their platform as well. However, he also states that QQ has an advantage when it comes to normal users, as "there isn't any other website in the world that has as many stable grass-roots users as QQ."