The Chinese Internet: A Brief Overview of Near-Social Services

We do not know everything: what social networks exist on the Internet

8 February 2018 Published in sections: Working with social networks. 27856

The growing popularity of such portals encourages them to be used not only for personal purposes. Promotion and support of companies, sale of goods, services are the goals of strategies in social marketing (SMM). The key to success is choosing the right network from the many available. Otherwise, the time spent on finding the target audience will be useless. What social networks exist on the Internet, how do they differ from each other and how have they gained popularity among their users? Let's take a closer look.

Social media history

The first prototype of the service for communication was described back in 1837 in a science fiction novel by Vladimir Odoevsky. The theory and principles of creation are set forth in the works of mathematicians of the 1950-1960s. In 1954, the term itself appears. Social networks got their real embodiment with the widespread development of the Internet.

The first similarity was the resource Classmates. om in 1995, where you could find pupils and students from different educational institutions. More familiar now look and functions have appeared in the SixDegrees project. om in 1997. Registration, creating a personal profile, finding friends, communicating with them - innovative opportunities for that time.

Social networks that are now commonplace began to appear en masse since 2003. LinkedIn and Facebook go live. Since 2006, Odnoklassniki and VKontakte have been created in Russia. Since then, the number of resources has been constantly increasing, they have new functions that are not only convenient for users for entertainment and communication, but also for doing business.

What are the social networks on the Internet

By functionality and capabilities for users, you can segment what kind of social networks there are. To classify by content type, the following types of social networks can be distinguished:

TypeOpportunitiesRepresentativesFor communicationGeneral, professional communication, datingFacebook, Google+, VK, OdnoklassnikiFor content distributionShare movies, music, books, photos, bloggingYoutube, Instagram, FlickrFor reviews and reviews Uber, TripAdvisor, OtzovikFor discussions, questions, discussionsCooperative dialogue, exchange of experienceQuora, Reddit, DiggFor author postsBlogs, notesTwitter, Livejournal, TumblrFor interestsFind like-minded people on business and hobbiesLast. m, Goodreads


There are a lot of options for what to do on the resources for communication, but the main thing can be highlighted. Services allow:

  • Communicate - with colleagues, friends, like-minded people and a lot of people who are interesting by one criterion or another. You can join interest groups, get acquainted for specific purposes, share personal information with all or selected visitors to the resource.
  • Search - people (by certain parameters, for example, educational institutions, places of work, city of residence), companies and goods that are offered for sale through communication sites.
  • Share news - media and news agencies have their own pages. Information about events can be added by all participants.
  • To have a rest - this is facilitated by the mass of various content, paid or free of charge, placed on the portal: films, games, music.
  • Learn - educational programs, lessons, materials and advice from other people provide useful information in different areas of life. Learn to cook, master the grammatical subtleties of another language, attend master classes on making useful items with your own hands, hone your skills in using technology or computer programs - all this is in abundance.
  • Store files, share them.
  • Find a job or employee - professional networks are created to exchange experience, develop business relationships, and find vacancies with employers.
  • Share documents - working on one task has never been easier! Borders, time differences, and other factors are leveled by general access, the ability to comment and edit materials.

Reasons for popularity

The study recommends focusing on posting feedback, making information easier to present, comparable, and comprehensive coverage of topics with high word counts.

Google's data in the tourism segment, obtained using artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies in the RankBrain system, is also provided.

Daniel Furch, Head of Content Marketing at Searchmetrics, explains:

Google now more accurately identifies user intent by analyzing keywords and phrases they enter in the search bar. The search engine understands the context of an individual search, including whether it is in travel, retail, finance, or other industries, and ensures that the results reflect characteristics that meet the needs of users who turn to Google.

For travel marketers, this means they can no longer focus solely on general, universal rules for best search performance. It is necessary to take into account the factors of tourism. Searchmetrics analyzed the top 20 Google search results for over 6,000 typical travel-related searches such as "airfare", "seasonal rental" and "car rental".

The company highlighted the most common elements that appear in these results and compared them to a benchmark study of broader Google ranking factors for 10,000 common high-frequency keywords across all industries.

Key takeaways from these reports: Travel brands should ignore some generally accepted SEO rules and instead focus on quality content.


Travel-related pages should focus on visualization, with a concentration of internal links that allow users to find related content on the same site with one click. Travelers want to see additional information on topics of interest or information that will help them compare different options and make a choice.

Searchmetrics research shows that travel sites ranked in the top 10 by Google have approximately 23% more internal links than the top 10 sites on other topics.

But internal links should follow a logical, relevant and informative structure.

Travel companies must ensure that the pages on their site are consistently linked. The user should be able to view and compare the options that interest him. The guest should get answers to all his questions in one place.

Opportunity to watch

The first social network in the world in the modern sense is considered to be the Classmates project, which brought together former and current schoolmates across America. In Russia, its prototype was the Odnoklassniki website, followed by VKontakte, which strongly reminded users of foreign Facebook.

In addition to these social networks, we use several more, if not several dozen of them every day. Today, social networks for many have become almost the only source of information about the world around them, as well as a means of communication with friends and family.

A logical question arises: why does the world need so many social networks? Why hasn't a social network appeared that could unite all people so that there is no need to switch from one account to another around the clock?

The answer is simple: each social network has both advantages and disadvantages. People have learned to use them for their own purposes, assigning each social network its own specialization: communication, work, getting to know the news, viewing photos. Many social networks were originally created with only one purpose: for example, to watch videos.

We have created this guide to social networks in Russia especially for those who cannot keep up with the emergence of more and more new services. Many, for example, learned about the existence of the social network LinkedIn only after Roskomnadzor threatened to close access to it on the territory of our country. But this network is very popular both here, and even more so abroad.


We propose to start with the Odnoklassniki we all know. The service was originally created for former and current classmates and their friends who studied at the same school. At the dawn of the development of social networks, this project became a real link between people who have long lost contact with each other. However, in the modern world, it is not enough to just connect classmates with each other. Therefore, the social network is growing and developing, following new trends. Nevertheless, the history of its appearance and its image still continue to leave an imprint on the audience of the project and what users are doing within it.

The peculiarities of Odnoklassniki are a very large part of the audience over the age of 45 in comparison with other social networks: graduates of Soviet schools who communicate in this social network with their friends at school, university and military service, and also relatives. The small share of the audience under the age of 24 is also striking: young people, apparently, choose other social networks.

In addition to communication, of course, the social network provides an opportunity to watch videos, listen to music, share news with friends and simply useful or interesting links. But the most important opportunity is still to connect with friends from the past and present.


The same age as Odnoklassniki, the VKontakte social network, which is the most popular in our country, takes its versatility, convenience and laconic design that does not distract from what you are going to do, be it communication, viewing videos or reading material from the news feed.

Despite the general opinion that only schoolchildren sit on VKontakte, this social network is popular with an audience aged 24 to 34. In addition to simple communication, the possibility of which is offered by the overwhelming majority of social networks, VKontakte is popular due to the huge amount of music and videos that are freely available. No matter how hard the owners of the social network try to fight illegal content, users always find the opportunity to download it and use it. This also applies to pornography, which is very popular on the social network.

The post is a significant revision of The Complete Guide to China’s Major Social Media Networks article with my edits, comments and some illustrations. He also added the correct Russian reading of Chinese services.

On April 17, 2014, the Chinese counterpart of Twitter - Sina Weibo - went public on the US stock exchange. The IPO attracted less than expected, but it is certainly a big success for Chinese social media. Therefore, it is worth making a small overview of the existing Chinese social Internet resources today. Of course, it does not pretend to be absolutely complete and objective, so feel free to write your additions and comments.

The platforms and services in question have both desktop and mobile clients, unless otherwise specified. It should also be remembered that many foreign resources - such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, partly Wikipedia - are blocked in China, so local residents use Chinese counterparts, often not knowing about the origin of the originals. Besides, everywhere there are lists of “bad words” (mostly bad politically), the entry of which is blocked, or the activity of such users is carefully monitored. By China, of course, we mean its mainland, not counting Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, where the censorship of the Communist Party does not work.

Social Media Categories

Messaging (IM)

It is difficult to clearly categorize IM services due to their explosive growth, aimed only at mobile users. Here we will try to break down purely mobile services and universal networks. Let's take Twitter (a controversial point) as a "reference" service.

Tencent QQ is the main and most famous (hereinafter - in China, of course) messaging service. It was originally a desktop text messaging platform. In the future, it acquired functionality (similar to the familiar ICQ) and went to mobile phones. Using it, you can not only exchange messages, but also plan events, make video and audio calls (including group calls), listen to music, and play games. There is even its own system of payment for games and services - QQ Coins, as well as a microblogging service (only those people to whom you explicitly allow it can read the posts). It is also worth noting that there are no third-party clients, the protocol is closed, and right from the application interface, you can complain about spammers or individuals engaged in propaganda.

As of early 2013, QQ (desktop and mobile) has 200 million active users with 623 million registered accounts.

Feixin 飞 信 [Feixin] - www. ebim. eixin. 0086. nFeixin - a platform from the China Mobile operator (you can draw an analogy with a VoIP messenger from Megafon, for example). It appeared on the market earlier than WeChat (a mobile application from the same Tencent company), but failed to gain the popularity of the latter. This service has a monthly audience of 100 million in 2013, although it is not used very actively.

Aliwangwang 阿里 旺旺 [Ali Wang-wang] im. lisoft. omThis is a messenger for the Taobao marketplace. Used to communicate between sellers and buyers. In China, it is customary to communicate with the seller before buying goods (you can bargain for free shipping, or knock out a discount), and sellers like to duplicate notifications and send ads to old customers through private messages, so they use the service quite actively.

Baidu Hi 百度 Hi [Baidu Hai] im. aidu. om/Of course, the largest search service in China also has its own messenger. It is not the most popular medium of communication, but it reflects the giant's desire to strengthen its presence in all major Internet areas. Mobile networks

Mobile networks (analogs of WatsApp)

During my travels and preparations for them, I have accumulated significant experience of interacting with social media. Sometimes I think they are serious against adventure: social media makes our trips the same and shallow, addictive and destroy popular attractions. If the above points do not bother you - great! But this does not mean that there is no problem. Be considerate of your friends and travel buddies: they may be under social pressure right now and need your support.

I Social media versus travel

Relax: you have already decided where to go and what to do

There doesn't seem to be a day when no travel blogger posted a list of "10 Places You Must Visit" or "5 Things You Must Try". Although half of these lists are not based on the personal experience of the authors, their texts are replicated, littered the airwaves and penetrated into classical media. When you read the lists, it's easy to forget that “must” is not a word to add to your journey.

Over time, the quality of recommendations only decreases. TripAdvisor, once a great service, has become a collection of controversial reviews of non-unique places. Even the "impressions" section on Airbnb lowers the bar: some of the ads are already written in the spirit of "a couple of expats for only 20 euros will climb a two-hundred-meter mound within the city with you."

Traveling often and not blogging - how is that possible?

I was often asked if I blog. Few people wondered if I wanted to spend my adventure time on this. In addition, I, like most social media users, do not shoot at the level of National Geographic photographers and do not talk about places like Leonid Pashkovsky from I Want to Home.

Many people still believe that blogging is a great way to monetize travel. It looks like a survivor's mistake: we have before our eyes examples of several dozen successful bloggers, for the placements of which brands are willing to pay six-figure sums. Nobody wants to see what's left behind the scenes: from internet addiction to constant worry about audience engagement. And certainly no one is interested in those who have not managed to step over the line of a couple of thousand subscribers.

Everyone around is better than you Even if they are not

I love my friends, but there is a problem - sometimes they are too cool. They start their own business and develop personal projects. I'm trying to get out of Johannesburg - they win competitions and get international recognition - I don't do anything in Sao Paulo for two weeks. I know that I was lucky with incredible friends, but sometimes I doubt: were they lucky with me?

A study by the American Journal of Epidemiology confirms that Facebook affects a person's well-being: the more users like other people's content, click on links, or post their own updates, the lower they rate their physical and psychological well-being.

Scientists conducted three waves of research, in which several thousand people took part: they took an online survey, in which they assessed the quality and quantity of their social connections, and also provided data on their behavior on Facebook for research. "We found that using Facebook was associated with less life satisfaction, while having real friends and being with them was associated with higher life satisfaction."

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