More than just being one of China’s top social media platforms, Weibo has been expanding its offerings to cater to its 530 million monthly active users and Chinese video content creators. One of its efforts in terms of expansion is through licensing short video content as an attempt to seek out alternative opportunities for Weibo and its Chinese content creators.
Jennie So, the General Manager of Weibo International Department told Television Asia Plus that Weibo, as a middleman, consolidates and distributes Chinese short video content to various overseas media platforms. This helps to promote high-quality content that will cater to foreign audiences.
The General Manager said, “We believe that through licensing short video content to new TV platforms and traditional media in Southeast Asia, Chinese video content creators can obtain a new business model to achieve additional income as well as increase their influential power.” Through what Jennie calls a “social break-through”, Weibo’s new act can broaden new thinking and open up new business opportunities to Chinese creators and facilitate cross-platform development.
With the growth of OTT in recent years, Jennie believes that short video and medium-length video content should expand into new media such as OTT and VOD to get content consumption to reach new audiences.
Jennie said that the development of short video content in China has been increasing over the years, accumulating creative young people and professional content teams that produce high-quality video content. “By licensing short video to overseas markets would allow them to develop new prospects compared to the fierce competition in the domestic market,” Jennie added.
Diversity is key
Weibo’s strength is that it is a public social media platform that supports all content forms. From text, photos, and videos, one of China’s top social media platforms has become a diversified high-value platform for accessing information and opinion sharing.
In 2020, the platform surpassed 80 million daily posts, while the total number of video posts increased 18%, and recorded 1.5 million pieces per day. Meanwhile, the platform’s text-to-picture post remains the major content form. Jennie shared that by the end of 2020, the platform started to support 4K HDR High-Definition Video. The General Manager added, “By supporting multimedia content forms, Weibo enables different features to suit for various content consumption scenes and diversified user groups.”
In terms of content, Weibo is the first social media platform to adopt in-depth vertical content field operation in China. Covering over 40 content fields such as entertainment, lifestyle, travel, news, and more, Jennie explained that each field represents a vertical user interest group.
“With the operation work of the Weibo professional team, [the platform] intends to explore high-quality content and creators based on diversified interest and deliver high-value content to the right users based on their interest tags, user interactive behaviour, geographical features through technical methods such as interest tagging, user value tagging, and machine learning. Through this approach, Weibo can retain its users by keeping a diversified content operation approach,” Jennie shared.
Weibo ensures that they provide a socially diversified discussion and cross-level interactivity. Jennie said that the platform’s operations team encourages and supports all kinds of experts and KOLs to get involved in the discussion and opinion-sharing on public events and topics. On the other hand, they also stimulate users to discuss viral topics.
Weibo boasts of over 10 years of development and its key objective is to retain active users and generate new ones as well.
Weibo is a content aggregator that supports all kinds of content provided by different media partners and provides diversified content that is suitable for different user groups. “The key point is to make good use of content operation and management in order to sustain user activities,” Jennie said.
For content creators and IP content owners, Weibo is the only platform that enables them to break through from a single vertical field creator to becoming an overall influential “Big V.” Jennie said, “Weibo is more influential and transmissible compared to other social platforms in China, making it more powerful in stimulating content creators to maximize their strengths to grow bigger and turn into revenue. In this case, both user activeness and content creation can be well kept.”
While China’s top social media platform has been setting its sights on licensing short video content, the company is currently focused on soliciting overseas business partners. Jennie said that they are also signing more Chinese video content creators to help enlarge its database.