A Comparative Study of Users’ Microblogging Behavior on Sina Weibo and Twitter

  • Qi Gao
  • Fabian Abel
  • Geert-Jan Houben
  • Yong Yu
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7379)


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.


user modeling microblogging comparative usage analysis 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Qi Gao
    • 1
  • Fabian Abel
    • 1
  • Geert-Jan Houben
    • 1
  • Yong Yu
    • 2
  1. 1.Web Information SystemsDelft University of TechnologyThe Netherlands
  2. 2.APEX Data & Knowledge Management Lab.Shanghai Jiaotong UniversityChina

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