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Media & Entertainment

Weibo develops own version of Instagram

Alibaba-backed microblogging site wants to draw users away from rival app RED

With 486 million active users monthly, Weibo is one of the biggest social media companies in the world.   © Reuters

BEIJING -- Weibo has developed a new photo-sharing app called "Oasis," which it is testing now, as it seeks to find new sources of growth.

Targeting younger generations with the slogan "find a beautiful world," Oasis has similarities with Instagram and RED, a popular Chinese social media platform known as Xiaohongshu. Oasis allows users to upload and edit photos and videos and tag them to others and to locations. The app also provides content about style, food and sports.

Users can only log in with an invitation code for now. It's unclear when Oasis will launch and how Weibo will monetize it.

With 486 million monthly active users, Weibo is one of the biggest social media companies in the world, but recent years have seen its growth slowing down. Its net profit fell 30% year-on-year to $103 million in the second quarter of 2019, while net revenue inched up 1% to $432 million, according to the company's financial results released last month.

For the 10-year-old company, which has long coveted RED's strong engagement with young users, Oasis could gives it a sharper competitive edge, industry watchers said.

KrASIA is a digital media company focused on technology-driven businesses and trends across the Asia-Pacific region. It is under 36Kr, a tech news portal based in Beijing. Nikkei announced a partnership with 36Kr on May 22, 2019.

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