Every morning, I always log in my Sina Weibo to browse the latest news. Even if the report shows the number of the active users keeps going down, I’m still in this habit. But today, it seems more crowded than usual - not the posts, but the replies. Looking inside, it’s full of replies from a Weibo account called ‘Xiaobing’. Everyone @'s her and asks all kinds of questions. Now I know, Xiaobing does not just target Wechat, but also serves Weibo users.
I still remember that about two years ago, a Korean app called Simsimi was popular in the Appstore. That’s also the rapid growth period of iphone 4S in China. People were so interested chatting with that cute little yellow chick, even sharing the funny parts on weibo. Since the users could also teach simsimi more sentences, sometimes it would surprise you with unexpected answers.
Just like Simsimi, Microsoft Xiaobing is also a chatting robot. Instead of an independent app, Xiaobing was originally an account on Wechat, but now also comes to Sina Weibo. Compared with other chatting robots, Xiaobing is superior on group chatting and life service information. But what make Xiaobing different are the unceasing issues: blocked by wechat, cooperation with Xiaomi, Yixin, then coming back to Wechat and Weibo. The latest topic is Xiaobing’s performance on Weibo, where some verified accounts complain that Xiaobing‘s reply occupied their comments and disturbed them. What's even worse is when you both @ Xiaobing and Wbot (another auto-response weibo account), chatting between them would be endless only if you delete the post.
There’s no doubt that Xiaobing is a smart-response chatting tool, but where should it be used is the question for us. Not like wechat and other IM apps, Weibo is a platform for public social sharing, not for private chatting. Xiaobing also needs to consider if its usage will meet the needs of the platform, otherwise it’s just a stunt.
This blog is posted by Hana Chen, an analyst at L'Atelier Shanghai.