Everyone is talking about weibos but few people know what they are.
Weibo means microblog, and permits the sending of 140 chinese characters, (i.e. 140 words rather than 140 letters), text and photos which appear on a page resembling a Facebook “wall”. Weibos have “followers” depending on each person’s popularity; this is, to make a long story short, a weibo.
In reality, there is not one Weibo like there is one Twitter, but rather three Weibo systems, built initially on three different networks, and offering slightly different functionalities.
As a result, each system appeals to a different part of the population.
The three systems are
(1) Sina Weibo, inventor of the concept in 2009 and most well known in the West,, built upon a popular chinese generalist portal sina.com,
(2) Tencent Weibo, which is built upon the instant messaging system QQ belonging to Tencent, and
(3) Sohu Weibo, the least developed, based on the generalist network of Sohu.com.