Need to vent your feelings? Go to Weibo, not WeChat
Social media users in China bypass WeChat and go to Weibo for personal gripes
You may use Facebook and Twitter for different things, and in the same way people in China say they have different personalities on the country’s two dominant social networks: WeChat and Weibo.
On Wednesday, one of the most searched hashtags on Weibo was “Me on WeChat Moments and Me on Weibo”. Users are pointing out, with plenty of memes, how they act entirely differently on the two platforms. On WeChat Moments -- a newsfeed where friends post updates, pictures, videos and links -- they tend to be well-behaved and only send positive posts. On the other hand, they go to Weibo to complain about everything and laugh at silly jokes.
One of the memes puts it this way: “Posting on WeChat Moments: ‘Another energetic day!’ And posting on Weibo: ‘Why am I not dead yet?’”
The reason, though not obvious for people outside of China, speaks to the online social norms in the country. WeChat, boasting over 1 billion monthly active users, is omnipresent in every part of Chinese people’s lives. It’s for keeping in touch with friends, posting in groups, and 87.7 percent of WeChat users also use the app for work communication.
That means literally everyone you know is on it: friends, family members, coworkers, and all kinds of random acquaintances. It’s a combination of WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn, and it blurs the line between your personal and work life.
“To me, WeChat Moments is like a school presentation board, which is meant to showcase and impress,” says Sizhu Wu, a young professional in Shanghai, who says she tends to share more of her feelings on Weibo.
Beijing-based Nanxi Zhang agrees. “You’re more free to vent your feelings on Weibo because your connections (on Weibo) are mostly close friends of your age,” she says, “You can’t act like a child on WeChat Moments because it’s full of work people -- and you will regret it.”