Qiyi, the Chinese Hulu has just launched its own microblogging service, named Qitan. Twitter, at its five years anniversary, released a new video saying “Follow your interests. Discover your world.” Qiyi obviously agrees on that because its Qitan is for the people who love the movies.

Just like other microblogging services in China, you can publish message with text in the limit of 140 characters, pictures and video clips; you can reply to others’ messages or just retweet; and of course you can follow other users. However, all the functions are movie oriented. For the message, you are asked to give a topic which could be the name of the movie or any video etc. Besides pictures, video clips, users are also encouraged to share the Dialogue of the videos. When you first log on Qitan, you will be asked which are your favorite movies then the system will recommend you the users who like the same or the same style to follow. And it seems that the message published on Qiyi could be synced with other popular service like Sina weibo.

So basically on Qitan, people get know each other because the movie they love, review/comment on the movie by doing replying/forwarding the tweet, and share the pictures about movies and video clips. For Qiyi, Qitan’s probably more like an online community than a microblogging service.

Qiyi, recently claims that it has monthly 148 millions unique visitors which is reported half of the number of Chinese netizen who watch video online. Although Qitan is still in beta, I really like the direction Qiyi’s working on. Chinese microblogging market most likely will be and has been dominated by portals like Sina and QQ, but the ‘verticle’ ones like Qitan have chance, still.

Dr. Gang Lu - Founder of TechNode. He's a Blogger, a Geek, a PhD and a Speaker, with passion in Tech, Internet and R'N'R.

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