This week I've decided to bite the bullet and sign up to Sina Weibo and create my very own micro blog. If you've been living under a bowl of xiaolongbao for the past year and have no idea what I'm talking about, Weibo is the Chinese equivalent to Twitter.
So why should we sign up? Weibo is one of the most innovative in the industry and is currently growing at around 10 million users per month. The site is expected to exceed 150 million users this year, making it one of the top social networking sites in China. It's time to get involved.
Setting up an account is pretty easy to do. Here is my step-by-step guide about how I did it. Here we go..
When you come to the first page you'll see something like the above. My best advice to all of you is to do everything using Google Chrome. The nifty web browser can automatically translate entire webpages for you.
Enter your email, a password (this goes next to the "Create a" field) and enter the secret code to prove that you are human.
A confirmation email will be sent instantly and all you need to do is go to your inbox and click on the link in the message.
The link will bring you to this page. Type in your password to enter a few details.
For some reason, Google Chrome wouldn't translate this page. It asks you to create a username, enter your location, gender, phone number, form of ID (this can be faked), DOB, career (choose the last option which translates to "do not wish to share") and enter one more security code.
Once you've entered all your details correctly it will bring you to this page with around 60 suggested friends. I prefer to keep a clutter-free account and deselected all of the suggestions (sorry guys, I'm sure you're great). Alternatively, you can skip this section by just clicking on Step 3.
Success! I now have my very own Weibo account. The website will ask you to upload a photo straight away, however you can choose to do this later if you wish.
The home page is very similar to Twitter and you can type in a message (no more than 140 characters) straight away which will appear in your feed. There are plenty of ways to customize your account and friends, but we'll go over all of those details later.
Have you set up a Weibo account? What do you use it for?