Sohu IT, 5/12/11
During Chinese internet company Sina's (Nasdaq: SINA) Q1 2011 earnings call, CEO Charles Chao told analysts that Sina's Weibo microblogging service had recently passed 140 mln registered users and 150,000 "verified" users. The company's goal is to surpass 200 mln users by year's end. Users logged into the site on a given day spend an average of one hour on the site.
Sina plans to greatly increase its investment in Weibo this year: in Q1, the company invested USD 14 mln in the service, and its investment could amount to USD 100 mln for the whole year, with more available if necessary. The funds will chiefly be used for technology R&D, to which end Sina will allocate far more employees to the service than had heretofore been available. Q2 will see a marketing campaign for the service, for which Sina will invest in efforts to capture a greater share of the market.
Ad revenues from e-commerce services increased by more than 200% in the past quarter, Chao said.
CFO Herman Yu said that since Sina terminated its partnership with Google, the company has not relied upon any third-party technology, though it may consider similar partnerships in the future.
Sina tested Weibo-based instant messaging tools over the past few months, Chao said, and will release finished IM products within the next month or two. The company may also launch a PC client for the service.
According to Chao, there are between 50,000 and 70,000 new apps using the Sina Weibo open platform, and more than 3,000 third-party applications logged into the service; users shopping online for applications will be able to find roughly 900 clients.