Sina Weibo is a Chinese website which is built upon the same philosophy as Twitter in that it provides a platform to the users for micro-blogging. The website has been free to use, quite like Twitter, but now Weibo has started offering a number of premium features for such users who choose to pay nominal sum($1.57) for these features.
Weibo registered a quarterly loss during the last quarter and this move has been made by the company probably to bring around its finances and try to be profitable. With a user base of 300 million users, if this new move by Weibo works, it can really work a significant amount of revenue to the company.
In total, the premium features that Weibo plans to provide the users include voice posts, personalized pages, better security and 12 other VIP features. While some have termed this a desperate move by the company to raise money, other have deemed it a rather bold and brave move.
According to the Chairman of BDA, “Weibo has become an indispensable tool to Chinese netizens, although some argue of late that it has become less compelling due to the restrictions. But for Sina of course ultimately its aim is not to run the service as a charity. This could be a tricky situation – if they push too far to monetise they could tarnish their brand, but if they don’t succeed in converting all this traffic to commercial value then it’s ultimately unsustainable in the long term.”
Others have speculated that whether or not Twitter may follow a similar model. But it seems likely that Twitter may launch anything like this anytime soon.
Source: Techin Asia