Oct 18, 2010

Twitter vs. Weibo: the most followed users

This post is based on an article I found yesterday by iReseach.cn blogger Liu Xingliang.

My English version of the top ten most-followed users of each platform:
  Followers Followers
1Ashton Kutcher (actor)4,715,383Yao Chen (actress)1,342,776
2Britney Spears (singer)4,651,180Zhao Wei (actress)1,139,814
3Ellen DeGeneres (TV personality)4,443,322Li Kaifu (businessman)919,420
4Barack Obama (politician)3,553,908Huang Jianxiang (sport pundit)880,493
5Lady Gaga (singer)3,434,718Li Bingbing (actress)845,086
6Oprah Winfrey (TV personality)3,346,574Zhou Libo (comedian)806,636
7Kim Kardashian (model, etc.)3,282,837Pan Shiyi (businessman)777,971
8John Mayer (musician)3,183,439Chen Kun (actor)682,914
9Twitter (official feed)3,072,528Zhou Bichang (singer)658,133
10Ryan Seacrest (TV personality)3,053,883Yu Minggong (businessman)653,558
Liu’s observations:
1. TV/film/pop stars are the most popular users on both platforms: Twitter has eight actors, singers, etc. in its top ten; Weibo has seven.
2. Weibo is used far less as a political platform. Unlike with Twitter, says Liu, there are hardly any politicians in Weibo’s top hundred users, let along the top ten.
3. Businesspeople on Weibo are as popular as TV/film/pop stars on Weibo. In Twitter’s top ten there is not one business person; in Weibo’s there are three: former Google China boss Li Kaifu,SOHO boss Pan Shiyi, and New Oriental founder Yu Minhong. Because China’s economy is developing rapidly, says Liu, successful businesspeople are seen more like celebrities.
4. Official feeds on both platforms are very widely followed. Twitter’s official feed ranks ninth with over 3 million followers; Weibo’s official feed has over two million followers. Although this would rank it at number one, Sina have kept its official feed off the ranking.
5. Latecomers have advantages over firstmovers. Twitter, which has been running for 48 months, has a total of 36 million people following the top ten users; Weibo, which has been running for just 8 months, already has around 8.5 million people following its top ten.