Launched on August 28th, 2009, Sina Weibo has become the largest micro-blogging platform in China with more than 500 million registered users. It must have disappointed many that it hasn’t fundamentally change the political climate or cultures in China, but that monetization finally took off must have some investors relieved — it’s another story that its stock price fluctuated greatly as investors’ expectations on its monetization capabilities varied from time to time.

Weibo started monetization from the first half of 2012 after its registered users reached 250 million at the end of 2011. Currently its revenue sources include display ads & sponsored posts, premium membership subscription, third-party games.

In 2012 Weibo recorded $66 million in total revenues with 77% from display advertising and 23% from value added services, membership subscription and gaming. In 2013, it began making revenues from sponsored ads in news feed, ads for Taobao retailers, and flash sales & group-buying deals.

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Tracey Xiang

Tracey Xiang is Beijing, China-based tech writer. Reach her at traceyxiang@gmail.com