Social-media data aggregator Gnip is taking on its biggest data source yet — China’s Sina Weibo microblogging service. China has the most Internet users in the world and is fast becoming a critical market for consumer sales, so it only makes sense that Gnip users would want to know what people there are talking about.
Gnip is best known as being one of two companies with full access to the Twitter firehose, but Twitter is actually just one of dozens of sources of Gnip’s data. “Although Twitter is obviously an incredibly valuable source of data, it’s just one conversation that’s happening,” Gnip COO Chris Moody told me during a recent call. Indeed.
According to Gnip, Sina Weibo has more than 300 million users, including Chinese celebrities, politicians and executives. International brands such as Nike, Starbucks and Adidas already have a strong presence on the platform, as well. Now, Gnip’s customers, primarily marketing-software companies that combine to serve more than 90 percent of the Fortune 500, can get a view into what Sina Weibo users are talking about, too.
Yes, the web, like the world, is wide, and international companies care about users outside the United States. Sina Weibo is Gnip’s first wholly international data source, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see it eventually add any of the other regional social media platforms that give Facebook and Twitter a run for their money among the local populations.