Sina and Alibaba today announced the long-awaited Weibo for Taobao. Retailers then will be able to post information about goods onto Weibo and monitor metrics directly from Taobao system. Weibo users, however, will be directed to the Taobao page to buy items, not directly on Weibo.
Sina Weibo is integrated into Taobao system so that retailers don’t have to open the former to interact with audience. Apart from everything a Weibo account can do to interact with followers and other Weibo users, there is an analytics service that analyzes followers, Weibo page performance, conversion rate, etc.
Weibo messages with information about goods will show the name of the Taobao store, the price for a good, etc. One post is allowed to include up to nine items.
Currently only the Web version is available and will go live on August 5th. A mobile version is under development.
It’s unknown whether Sina will receive any fees or transaction-based commissions. It looks it’ll be more helpful to Taobao in that retailers will gain knowledge about their audience and Taobao can collect more data.
As the dominating micro-blogging service in China, Sina Weibo doesn’t seem to have figured out a good way to take advantage of the huge user data. Not long after Alibaba made the strategic investment in Sina Weibo earlier this year, the latter began featuring contextual ads from Taobao’s Alimama. But the adverts are based on users’ browsing history on Taobao, not that on Sina Weibo. It is also found that Sina Weibo users became not that active.