We just discovered PinLeague‘s infographic “Timeline of Chinese & American social media”, which is informative and provides a general comparison/overview of the different social media platforms used in China vs. America.
Without a doubt, Xiaonei/Renren and Weibo both sprung up after the explosion of Facebook and Twitter. The two sites have the same or similar features as their Western counterparts. Weibo has expanded services and has come to be a mega microblog that differs from Twitter. The real “China’s Twitter” 饭否 FanFou launched in May, 2007. Its users reached over a million until it was first shut down on “Internet Maintenance Day” for 2 days. Because of similar reasons, FanFou became censored a month later and its services were stopped within 2 days. After FanFou’s death, Sina, Tencent, and Sohu launched their microblogs, and many of FanFou’s users had to switch to Sina Weibo. 505 days later, FanFou reopened on November 25, 2010. But the world of microblogging had already been taken over by Sina Weibo, and China’s first Twitter has not yet recovered.
Although PinLeague lists Meilishuo as “the Chinese Pinterest”, the two are distinctly different in their purpose. Pinterest is about content sharing, “a tool for collecting and organizing things you love.” The website has found it difficult to monetize. Meilishuo, however, has its mind set on B2C commerce from the beginning. It employs a Pinterest-style layout that acts as a female’s BFF, giving outfit ideas and trend reports. More than 32 million registered users share their taste in style, and link pictures of the fashion items’ to a Taobao store or an online shopping website. Another similar social media platform 蘑菇街 Mogujie launched February 14, 2011, and already has over 20 million registered users.
Huaban and Duitang are the two of the more successful copycats of Pinterest, C2C with pins and boards features.
Interested in China’s world of internet? Check out another infographic The Chinese Digital Landscape.