Follow5, a Chinese microblog syncing tool announced to discontinue its services in 30 days, advising its users to download all their data.
Founded in late 2007 after receiving an angel round, Follow5 once claimed millions of users. The site let users sync their microblog posts onto all the other major microblogging services or social networking sites, including Twitter, Digu, Fanfou, Kaixin001, RenRen, Tencent Weibo, Sina Weibo, Douban, Plurk, Friendfeed and so on.
Yu kunpeng, one of its founders once commented that microblogging is a hard choice for startups in China given uncertain regulations, gloomy profit picture and portals’ aggressive attacks.
Chinese microblogging market has shifted from fragmented to centralized as many similar services either shutting down or pivoting into other arena. 9911.com, a microblogging service curated by MySpace China (also being closed down) announced to close down late last year. Digu has now swerved from its original track to work on LBS area with not so good outcome as the site just shed 70% of workforce.
Sina revealed in its latest financial results that its Weibo service now boasts over 200 million users while Tencent Weibo claims over 230 million. Sohu and NetEase are also keeping a close eye on the market. There isn’t much opportunity for other crews in this area.