Weibo Changes Its External Links Policy (July 2020)
Big changes coming to URLs on Weibo. Weibo introduces new regulations for adding external links to the posts and ads. From now on, the platform will not allow social posts to include any URLs that direct users to websites that are not whitelisted. The question is then: who is on the white list? That’s entirely up to Weibo. For now, the platform allows
- government websites (.gov.cn, .gov.com),
- licensed media platforms,
- any major well-recognised platforms, and
- official websites of verified companies.
Companies should individually submit their application to Weibo (via a private message to @企业微博助理). The requirements are as follows:
1. A verified enterprise account;
2. A website that complies with the regulations of the platform and the regulations of China (both the domain name and the content on the website);
3. Corresponding business license and ICP license if the website is hosted in the Mainland.
We received confirmation from Weibo’s overseas office that foreign companies can also apply for whitelisting their websites, and do not need to submit an ICP license. However, from now on all companies will have to verify their accounts if they want to whitelist their website (Weibo account verification guide here). Additionally, personal accounts will no longer be able to include any links in their posts (unless they pay for this feature additionally). - Read Weibo’s announcement here (in Chinese)
Weibo ads can now link to WeChat mini-programs
On the bright side, however, Weibo ads can now link to WeChat mini-programs. That’s huge news, although it may not seem like it! Weibo and WeChat are two competing platforms and have done everything in their power to ensure their users don't leave for the other app. So, Weibo ads could only link to websites or Taobao in the past, but now it’s changed. It’s good news as many stores that want to advertise on Weibo only have their storefronts available on WeChat.
Feel free to leave us a comment if any of the above information needs clarification!