Weibo Messages Generated By 5 Per Cent Of Users

Patrick Boehler at SCMP reports on new research which states that Sina Weibo’s outreach may be far smaller than the company previously asserted and that “nine out of ten posts come from a core user group of just ten million people”:

Fu set out to measure Weibo’s real usage by first establishing how many of its users actually post messages. He created an automated program that skimmed through tens of thousands of Weibo accounts to find out whether they had ever been used.

In 58.8 per cent of the accounts he surveyed, Fu found that no post existed as of January 3 this year.

If that ratio were true for all accounts, it would mean that roughly 300 million of a total of about 500 million Weibo accounts were empty. These skeleton accounts have either never been used to post messages or have had their posts deleted.

Fu then looked at the 208.7 million accounts which had posts. He found that almost all the posts, 93.8 per cent, originated from five per cent, or 10.4 million, of these accounts. The remaining 198.3 million users mostly re-shared these core users’ posts. [Source]

See also a report from CDT on the decline of Sina Weibo this year as competing companies like Tencent Weixin have expanded.  Also, read more about Sina Weibo via CDT.