Following on from last week’s Facebook announcements, I’ve got another new data product to launch: Sina Weibo.
For the uninitiated, Sina Weibo is a huge Chinese social network. Weibo simply means “microblog” – so it’s closest western equivalent is probably Twitter:
What about QQ and WeChat you say? Well although they have high usage, the majority of their conversations are private; Sina’s the largest public social network in Asia-Pacific. As well as being public, it’s also a place where people are expressive and speak relatively openly about their experiences.
Many of our customers are western brands and agencies who have customers across the globe and need a window into what’s happening in these markets. Sina Weibo provides the best volume, velocity, and variety for Asia-Pacific data, especially when you consider how hard Chinese social data is to access.
Sina Weibo can be hugely useful for a few major use cases:
From today, Brandwatch supplies the highest grade access to Sina Weibo data for use within Brandwatch Analytics and Vizia.
The good news is the data looks broadly like any other data in Brandwatch analytics:
For Sina Weibo, you take out a subscription to a data plan along side your analytics subscription. At a very high level, it includes two things:
Well kind of. For data sources where we have an all you can eat deal (like Twitter), we dismantle your Query, convert it into Twitter language and pass the request on. For something like Sina, where the underlying costs are so much higher and we pay for what we download, we needed to be more granular. I’m going to use a slightly weird metaphor that should explain this concept:
Think of our archive of data like a bathtub.The bath taps are always flowing, filling the bath with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Disqus, Web Data, News Content, etc. (In case you’re wondering, it’s a magic bathtub that will never overflow).
You have buckets with which you can scoop out some of the water in the bathtub for your own usage. If you’re subscribed to a Mention based account, you have unlimited buckets, but pay for the amount of water that you scooped out… I.e. you can scoop up to 10 liters of water per month (10 million mention plan). If you’re on a Query based account we give you 10 buckets and you can fill them with whatever you like. This is normal Brandwatch Analytics behavior.
For Sina, we’re adding another tap. For this tap, we pay for each drop that comes out of the tap. So we’re telling Sina just to send water down the pipe that customers have asked us for. We have a water meter just above the tap which bills each drop to the customer that requested it. The key is – it’s a two stage process… (1) tell Sina what to send down the pipe, (2) query… I mean… ‘scoop’ the data, sorry… ‘water’ out of the bath. You get what I mean right? Right?
(With writing like this, it’s only a matter of time before they take my WordPress account off me)
So, long story short – you still need to Query the data out after you told us what you want to follow.
Initially, this is a manual process. Don’t worry, it’s pretty quick, you just shoot a message to our support team (or your Customer Success manager) and we add it in. You can request changes at any time. We have plans to add an interface to allow you to manage the keywords a little further down the road.
Good question. We’re aware that staying on top of this stuff can be tricky even for regular Brandwatch data, let alone this premium stuff. It would be frustrating to burn through it all in a few days.
For this reason, we send you an email at various points throughout your monthly usage: We send you a weekly usage email with a spreadsheet attached with the keywords that you’re tracking and how much data they’ve billed. We also send you an alert once you’ve reached 50% of your allowance, 90% and when you’ve run out.
As I hinted at above, you pay based on the volume you download. We knew that there’d be a big range of customers in terms of needs and we also knew that we wanted to keep it accessible… A product that was limited only to our largest customers would not serve the demand that we’re hearing from across the market.
Our packages are bought in increments of 100K Sina Weibo posts (if it were Twitter, I’d say Tweets… Weibs? Nevermind.)
As with most SaaS offerings, the cheapest packages are for a 12-month commitment: The entry-level, 100K package costs $400 / £360 / €400 per month. We obviously offer volume discounts at the higher tiers.
We also do shorter term options, which are a little more expensive starting at $600 / £540 / €600 for 100K for a one month plan with no ongoing commitment. Unless it really is a one-time thing, I’d urge you to look at an ongoing subscription as you can only see the data in our archive, while you have an active Sina Weibo data plan.
If you’re an existing Brandwatch customer and you’re interested in getting access please speak with your customer success manager.
If you’re not a Brandwatch customer, but want to find out more, click here to schedule a demo.
As always, if you have any questions – scroll down to the comments section and I’ll do my best to answer transparently.
Have a lovely holiday & new year