China’s rapidly evolving social media landscape has proven a tough moving target for anyone to follow.
For the last five years ago, our social media team has created infographics explaining the social media landscape of various Asian countries. The image for China has been in constant evolution, from this first version in 2010.
– The continued rise of WeChat: The Tencent-owned platform now takes on the role of multiple Western platforms in China.
– The addition of mobile video sharing: Vine has inspired a number of equivalents in China – the major players are Sina owned Meipai and Tencent’s 微视… not to mention WeChat’s “Sight” functionality.
– The addition of social travel: With so many Chinese now traveling at home and abroad, these platforms are much less “niche”. Breadtrip and Mafengwo are a first stop for many. Tripadvisor serves both Chinese and non-Chinese.
– LinkedIn crossing the China/Western divide – The professional SNS, one of the few western platforms not blocked, set up an office here in China. Questions remain as to the cultural need for a professional SNS in a market where networking is done face-to-face, but as the platform develops the China product there’s certain to be opportunities here for brands in China.
And, for fun, we’ve done some spoofs that highlight the difficulty in doing an info graphic like this.
In the first one, the “spinner”, lines are so blurred now between the platforms and Chinese platforms today are much less “equivalents” of similar Western platforms than they used to be. Definitions of Western platforms no longer apply when thinking about Chinese ones.
The second bulls eye emphasizes how WeChat seems to have swallowed all other platforms.
Finally, the idea behind the bottom image is the question whether such an emphasis on separate platforms is even relevant today? Good social media work thinks first about the consumer – what ideas and content would get them excited? If this question can be answered then the platform becomes less relevant – the consumer will be sharing on the platform relevant to them. They will decide the platforms for us.