The answer to what is the largest social media network is quite obvious – Facebook. However, most people probably wouldn’t guess what would be second one. In fact, the second largest social media site is Qzone with over 600 million users (vs. Facebook’s 1.15 billion) and ranked at number 8 by Alexa ranking.
Qzone belongs to Tencent, Shenzhen’s company behind QQ – the most popular instant messaging service in Chinese speaking world with over 800 million users. With Qzone, Tencent was able to leverage its huge subscribers’ base to expand into social media environment that is geared towards sharing and spreading information.
Unfortunately, even considering its large pool of users, the value of marketing on Qzone has been quite limited. The main reason by far is the fact that most Qzone users tend to be young with limited spending power.
Second reason is related to the fact that most internet users in China are mobile-based which makes a service like Sina Weibo a more natural way to communicate and engage with potential target audience.
Nevertheless, as of 2012, Qzone was rated as one of the most valuable social media brands with the estimated brand valuation of $11.2 billion according to the Swiss brand valuation agency BV4. Even though, its current user base doesn’t spend a lot of cash at the moment, they will, one day, join the middle class and if Tencent will find ways to keep their subscribers’ base loyal, Qzone may become one of the major platform to market on in China.