As of Q1 2013 76.5% of Sina Weibo users logged in through mobile devices and 34% of ad revenue was from mobile, up from 25% quarter-over-quarter, disclosed Sina management on the earnings conference call today. Sina Weibo recorded $18.8 million in advertising and $11.1 million in value-added services; of the latter $2 million is from membership subscriptions and the rest from web games (or browser game), which is a 180% increase.
Fensitong, or promoted feed ad program, now has over one thousand customers that have deposited money. Currently most customers that place budget on Weibo are still brand advertisers who has been doing marketing with Sina’s properties, but Sina wants to popularize it among SMEs, according to Charles Chao, chairman and CEO of Sina Corp. Several agencies in Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces are managing those customers for Sina.
As offering games is a proven way to monetize a large user base in China, Charles Chao said they’d continue to work on it.
When it comes to its partnership with Alibaba, Charles Chao hopes “over the longer term it will create opportunities in social commerce and mobile commerce which both companies believe are of great potential”, but currently what we have seen on Weibo is targeted ads from Taobao and Tmall. Alibaba has been doing targeted advertising on third-party sites with Alimama program. The ads shown are based on user behaviors such as searches on Alibaba’s properties. What makes those shown on Sina Weibo different is Weibo user behaviors’ may be also taken into account thus Alibaba can push more targeted ads. To Sina, what would be added is just more CPC/CPS-based revenues.
Earlier this month it launched the mobile-only-for-now Page that anything, a location, a topic or a good, can set up a webpage for other users to follow — it sounds like what Douban, an interest-oriented social site, has been doing. It is expected to have users consume more content and spend more time on Weibo by following Pages they like. It’s also possible that it can be used by advertisers to do content marketing.
Daily active users increased about 8% to 49.8 million. Sina Corp. reported $121.3 million non-GAAP revenue with $94.3 from online advertising and $15.9 million from mobile value-added services.