Digu, When Twitter Meets Entertainment

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Despite the fact that none of Chinese twitters, Fanfou or Jiwai or Zuosa is able to rock China, even TaoTao, the Tencent’s microblogging service is still at the stage of educating the market, another twitter liker, called Digu (means: whisper) was launched two months ago in Shenzhen.

I am pretty sure that all those “old” Chinese microblogging service understand very well how twitter works, but what I want to question about is how they expect Chinese netizen is going to use the twitter. In West, twitter becomes a very efficient tool for distributing and exchanging information, but in China, Internet is not for Information, yet! Internet in China is not a Tool for people’s daily life, but just a place for Fun for most of the netizen. So the key is how microblogging service has to adapt itself here. Now, Digu might find its solution which you can even tell from its design which sends us the image: microblogging can be entertainment-centric too.

Unlike other Chinese twitters, Digu looks more casual and fancy. The most interesting feature on Digu is its Celebrities’ Digu channel where you can follow 62 Chinese celebrities, including pop star LUO ZhongXu, popular band SuperVC, super girl Li Na etc. Although the number of followers of those celebrities are not that impressive, but for me, the strategy totally makes sense! Sina is not the first blogging system provider in China and its blogging system technically is not the best either, but now it is no doubt the No.1, thanks to its Celebrity Blogs which attract millions of fans who used to know nothing about blogging. I do not believe most of these celebrities really have the time to blog regularly, some of them actually hire writers to blog on their behalf, but fans does not care that much, obviously they love read everything about their stars, news, rumor, scandal whatever. But I think those celebrities will love the microblogging because it is much easier (they can blog from their mobile phone), fans will love to follow too because live tweets could let them feel so close to their idols. So considering the entertainment-centric Chinese Internet, what do you think? Note that some stars from HongKong are already on twitter, such as Hocc Goo (1312 followers) and Joey Yung (864 followers).

It was my pleasure to meet Digu’s co-founder, Dr. Li Song days ago in Shanghai. According to him, Digu’s team is led by former key developer of Mobile QQ. Mobile market will be the focus of Digu, said Dr. Li. (check out the collection of Digu’s gadgets). I also asked him how Digu is going to make money. Li said they were still testing the water and luckily his other two companies (one of them is the leading dating site called ZhenAi) are in good health. Digu sounds quite competitive, doesn’t?

“We are doing this for fun, and Digu can be the twitter for entertainment”, Li added.

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  • http://ask-entrepreneurs.com Susan Su

    Hi Gang Lu,This is a GREAT take on microblogging in China. You make the point that in China, internet is not about information, it's about entertainment – and I think that is a distinction most web companies in the West are not understanding.In the West, Twitter has great potential for brands, but only insofar as it will promote greater openness and two-way dialog with the brands themselves. In China, if Twitter or a Twitter-imitator ever succeeds, the model will have to be different – and will have to cater to the entertainment- and 'public relations'-focus of Chinese internet culture.Thanks for these insights… and bravo – not too many are out there with these thoughts!-Susan

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