Go Figure! Twitter is now worth less than its Chinese clone Weibo. According to the latest market data that has made its way to us, Weibo’s market cap now stands at $11.35 billion. In comparison, Twitter’s market value is slightly less at $11.34 billion. This change in position is attributable, as much to Twitter’s downfall as to the rise in Weibo’s fortunes.
It is a remarkable change to be honest. At the time when Weibo started operations in 2009, Twitter was already a well established company with a significant presence across the world. Then we came to Weibo’s IPO, which took place fairly recently in 2014. Less than two years ago, at its IPO, Weibo was valued at a mere $3.4 billion. Twitter’s value around the same time stood at $26.8 billion.
Twitter saw a further increase in its value until at its best, the company had a market cap of $40 Billion. From then on, it was a progression of meteoritic jumps for Weibo, which saw its value increase by around $8 Billion. On the other hand, Twitter saw its value decrease by almost $28 Billion in the same time interval.
You don’t really have to go too far to discover the reason behind this coup. After several quarters of stagnant growth, a user base that stubbornly refused to increase, internal politics and divided opinions about whether it should continue as an independent company or sell out — well, what else do you expect.
Very recently, Google, Disney and finally Salesforce, all bowed themselves out of the race to acquire the platform — each citing their own reasons, however, the main issue for anyone who contemplates buying the company remains the same. It simply has too many ongoing issues.
Weibo on the other hand, is on a roll. With Twitter conveniently banned in China by authorities, Weibo has long had a relatively clear market to propel its growth. There have been competitors sure enough, however, none of them have offered the company the kind of trouble Twitter’s presence in China would have afforded it. Similarly, the company is free of the competition offered by Facebook and its associated entities — something the blue bird has to go through everyday.
However, that is neither here nor there. While Twitter is struggling to make ads generate revenue, Weibo’s ad revenue was reported to be up by 45 percent from the previous year. It is cited to be pretty feature rich as well with many who have had occasion to use Twitter as well as Weibo, having stated that the latter had a wider plethora of services to offer.
Meanwhile, Weibo continues to gain traction — although it is now facing tough competition from the likes of WeChat — and was also quick to jump on the live streaming bandwagon. Meanwhile, I am sure that a whole bunch of employees over at the Chinese company high-fived each other, as Weibo managed to sidle past Twitter.