A Comparative Study of Users’ Microblogging Behavior on Sina Weibo and Twitter
In this article, we analyze and compare user behavior on two different microblogging platforms: (1) Sina Weibo which is the most popular microblogging service in China and (2) Twitter. Such a comparison has not been done before at this scale and is therefore essential for understanding user behavior on microblogging services. In our study, we analyze more than 40 million microblogging activities and investigate microblogging behavior from different angles. We (i) analyze how people access microblogs and (ii) compare the writing style of Sina Weibo and Twitter users by analyzing textual features of microposts. Based on semantics and sentiments that our user modeling framework extracts from English and Chinese posts, we study and compare (iii) the topics and (iv) sentiment polarities of posts on Sina Weibo and Twitter. Furthermore, (v) we investigate the temporal dynamics of the microblogging behavior such as the drift of user interests over time.
Our results reveal significant differences in the microblogging behavior on Sina Weibo and Twitter and deliver valuable insights for multilingual and culture-aware user modeling based on microblogging data. We also explore the correlation between some of these differences and cultural models from social science research.
Keywordsuser modeling microblogging comparative usage analysis
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