Twitter, at market close on Monday, was worth less than its Chinese clone, Weibo. China’s Weibo, started in 2009, stood at US$11.32 billion while Twitter slipped to US$11.23 billion at the end of Monday trading.
Slight fluctuations in the market show that the online social networking service’s marketing cap now stands at US$11.81 billion, while the Twitter-like Weibo is at US$11.24 billion, but Twitter is unlikely to retain this small lead.
Alerts are still on, as Twitter stock had yet to clean up its image as a “messy” and “uninvestable” stock, and Salesforce backed out of a possible acquisition.
The online social networking service’s shares have plunged 27% in the past two weeks as potential acquirers withdrew their interest. Companies that have recently said they don’t want to buy Twitter include Salesforce.com, Inc, Alphabet Inc and Microsoft Corporation.
The social platform, once worth over US$40 billion at its peak in early 2014, is believed to be in free-fall as it has failed to add new users. The service’s current tally is at 313 million, with 5 million monthly active users lost in the past 12 months. Arch-rival Facebook has just over 1.7 billion active users now.
In comparison, Weibo’s tally now stands at 282 million, with 70 million new active users in the past year. The Chinese Twitter-clone’s potential is believed to be huge as its user base is still growing.
It is a remarkably quick rise for Weibo, given its IPO in early 2014 was at a valuation of US$3.4 billion. On that same day, Twitter stood at US$26.8 billion.
The Chinese platform has been quick to tap into live streaming, one of China’s hottest new web trends. The new source of revenue, which allows viewers to buy virtual gifts for streamers, are believed to be one of its growing engines.