However, that’s not the end of the story. The service, which latter rebranded as simply ‘Weibo‘ to mark its prominent position in the field, is suffering from stagnating user growth as competition with Tencent’s WeChat stiffens.
In an attempt to boost its m-commerce initiative, Weibo’s mobile app has added a new social shopping feature similar to WeChat’s hugely popular micro store, enabling users to sell goods to followers.
Users can promote up to nine products in each post together with product description, prices and inventory information. They can also re-post items from third-party e-commerce sites such as Alibaba’s Tmall and Taobao, and mobile commerce marketplace Weimai. Weibo users with 1000 or more followers can apply to join the program.
Similar to WeChat’s micro store, these posts will be shown in users’ Weibo content sharing timeline. According to the company, Weibo has attracted over 20 million experts specializing in various fields. The new feature will act as an effective link to connect the experts and their vast fan base, completing Weibo’s ad and e-commerce ecosystem.
A report from China Internet Network Information Center indicates a total 46.6% of online shoppers accept e-commerce information in their social networks, in which 33.8% of them have actually purchased products from social channels.
Weibo claims to have 212 million monthly active users as of Q2 this year. Among them, 85% comes from mobile terminals. The users for Weibo’s homegrown payment solution Weibo Payment have hit over 46.50 million users.
Image credit: Weibo