If you can't beat SINA's
SINA's Weibo has become a sensation in China. It is often described as the Twitter of China, though it's probably a closer match to the more feature-rich Tumblr. Once Chinese celebrities chose Weibo as the communicative platform of choice, the viral magic kicked in for SINA.
Baidu had initial success with Shuoba last year, signing up a million users during its first three months in beta. I guess there's a reason Baidu didn't talk up the site much after that.
The Wall Street Journal's China Realtime Report blog reports that the site stopped accepting new user posts this week. A notice on the site explains that Baidu Shuoba will shut down completely on Aug. 22.
Stateside users know the drill. Google
Baidu is directing users to consider the site's older message boards and Q&A service, but neither will be a match for what drew Baidu Talk users to the microblogging service. They'll just join the masses at SINA Weibo or at Tencent's clone.
It's hard to argue with Baidu's tactics. Revenue soared 78% in its latest quarter, with profitability nearly doubling. Clearly, the company knows how to grow a business. However, that won't stop me from second-guessing this move. Sometimes you miss the macro picture, even when you're nixing a microblogging site.
Is Baidu right or wrong to shut down Baidu Talk? Share your thoughts in the comments box below.