Marbridge Daily

<- May 03, 2012 ->

Sina Weibo Announces User Stats, Future Monetization Plans

JP Morgan, 5/03/12

At Chinese internet company Sina's (Nasdaq: SINA) second Sina Weibo Marketing Conference in Xiamen on April 26-27, Sina COO Du Hong announced updated metrics and monetization progress for Sina's Weibo microblogging platform.

According to a report on the conference released by JP Morgan, Du revealed that in April, Sina Weibo recorded over 30 mln daily active users, including among them over 400,000 VIP users, 2.1 mln "Daren" ("Expert") users, 130,000 enterprise Weibo accounts, and 30,000 government accounts.

Sina disclosed that since it officially began monetization in April, 100 advertisers have utilized Weibo Ads, including Intel, 360Buy, BMW, Unilever, Nike, and Cartier. At the conference, the company also showcased a variety of new features for enterprises' Weibo campaigns, including VAS providing analysis of reach, relevance, clickthrough rates (CTR), time spent, level of engagement, and campaign effectiveness.

Additionally, Sina will soon embed a "recommended products" widget at the right side of users' profile pages, as well as a coupon distribution feed, follower-only special sales offers, and checked-in-only sales offers. According to Sina's own statistics, 360Buy has generated over RMB 20 mln in gross merchandise volume from its Enterprise Weibo.

In terms of mobile monetization, Sina plans to launch Enterprise Weibo for mobile in July, with landing pages specifically designed for mobile apps that will incorporate LBS-based check-in-only offers and promotional tweets.

Most Weibo enterprise accounts are expected to move onto the new Weibo Enterprise 2.0. interface in May, and in Q3 2012 Sina expects to launch products such as sponsored content, sponsored tweets, and a self-service platform for SME customers, dependent on the campaign success of large advertisers. In the future, Weibo will add more monetization channels for its Enterprise edition, including a cloud service with apps serving business-related needs, a self-service ad platform for SMEs due to go online in Q3 2012, and a mobile self-service platform, to be launched in 2013.

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