Major Chinese microblogging platform Weibo is set to launch an artificial intelligence-powered creation assistant in the second quarter, executives announced at the firm’s annual creator festival in Changsha on April 15.

One of China’s largest social platforms, Weibo plans to unveil a host of incentives aimed at helping creators monetize their content during the two-day festival held in the central Chinese city.

Why it matters: Weibo has been under significant pressure from lifestyle platform Xiaohongshu as well as short video apps, with the platform recording falling total revenue and advertising income for several consecutive quarters. Its upcoming AI assistant and a series of monetization incentives for creators aim to improve efficiency in content creation while increasing creators’ earnings, a move the company hopes will help it stay competitive.

  • “We want more growth to secure revenue for content creators on our platform,” said Cao Zenghui, senior vice president of Weibo, at the creators festival.
  • Creators from Weibo saw their ad endorsements fall 6% year-on-year to RMB 1.5 billion ($220 million) in 2022, which Weibo claimed was down to the impact of Covid-19 and falling customer demand.

Details: Weibo plans to invite 100 creators with more than 5,000 original blog posts to be the first to use the AI assistant when it launches in the second quarter.

  • Cao called AI-generated content a new trend and opportunity in content creation, saying “AI will not replace human creators but become their assistant,” according to local media outlet IThome.
  • The number of Weibo creators with over 10,000 followers hit 1.4 million in the quarter ending in December, of which 11% had more than 100,000 followers and 24,000 had more than 1 million followers.
  • The AI tool will learn creators’ writing styles and assist them in picking titles and suggesting special effects, according to IThome. It will also help them with topic selection when creating articles and videos, and with setting up a livestream.
  • Weibo creators currently get a 20% share for posting original graphics and 15% for creating original videos as advertising endorsements, National Business Daily reported on April 17. Weibo noted at the festival that it will implement a 5% cashback incentive policy by the end of this year with the aim of boosting creators’ incomes.

Context: Weibo had 586 million monthly active users by the end of 2022, which the latest earnings reports show was twice the number of Xiaohongshu. However, Xiaohongshu users have been recorded as spending nearly 20 minutes longer every day on the app than users on the Weibo app. As of last July, the average daily use time of Weibo was 36.43 minutes, according to statistics from analytics company Qianguan and cited by local media outlet 21Jingji.

Cheyenne Dong is a tech reporter now based in Shanghai. She covers e-commerce and retail, AI, and blockchain. Connect with her via e-mail: cheyenne.dong[a]