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CX and live-streaming boost Weibo

News, 11 August 2016

SHANGHAI: Weibo, the Chinese microblogging site, has significantly boosted its user numbers and advertising revenues, thanks to an improved user experience and a tie-up with a live-streaming platform.

In a quarterly earnings call, CEO Gaofei Wang reported that the site had 282m monthly active users in June, up by one third on a year earlier. That figure still lags behind WeChat (700m users) by some distance.

The total number of advertisers using the platform more than doubled (+104%) to 906,000, with many of these small and medium-sized enterprises. "Revenue from big corporate clients surged by 73% and that from small and medium-sized firms by 107%," Wang revealed.

Advertising and marketing income, meanwhile, was up 45% year on year, with just over two thirds of that (68%) coming from mobile.

Wang highlighted the brand's "strategic collaboration" with domestic smartphone manufacturers to improve the user experience and reported that the number of monthly active users on Huawei phones, for example, had risen 66% over the year, while the number of daily active users had more than doubled (+134%).

Video is also playing an increasingly important role for Weibo, as it partners with a number of multi-channel networks to broaden its offering. But it is live-streaming that has seen the most spectacular growth, with more than 10m live streams broadcast during the second quarter – 116 times higher than the first quarter, Wang announced.

The Yi Zhibo live streaming platform, developed by Yixia Technology in which Sina, Weibo's parent company, has invested, was only launched as a function on Weibo in January.

Pang Yiming, an analyst with internet consultancy Analysys, told China Daily the partnership had dramatically accelerated the user growth of Weibo.

Wang described the space for live video as "very big ... and very competitive".

He added that Weibo had been able to secure "a lot of celebrities, a lot of the media accounts and one of the big KOL accounts".

Data sourced from Seeking Alpha, China Daily, All China Tech; additional content by Warc staff