Instagram was blocked in China from Sep 2014 to Jan 2015[/caption]
Long after Facebook, Twitter and Youtube were denied access through the great firewall of China, Instagram remained accessible by users in mainland China until September last year when the pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong caused Chinese authorities to switch off Instagram…until now.
Instagram’s situation along with many other western social media platforms highlight one of the key challenges marketers can face when trying to promote their products or services to Chinese consumers, you can be blocked out at any time. This doesn’t mean that Instagram hasn’t seen success in China though, According to an Ogilvy report, between November 2013 and January 2014, mentions of Instagram on Weibo increased 43.7%. Many of these posts are shared directly onto Weibo from Instagram, making Weibo still one of the most popular distribution platforms in China.
Last week Chinese users started reporting that Instagram was once again accessible in mainland China. This is could potentially be good news for Facebook who owns Instagram and has made very public there desire to enter the Chinese market.
The sensitive nature of blogging platforms and social networks in China may still mean that there will be some way to go before they can replace their Chinese equivalents, if ever, so for now we would recommend sticking with Weibo and Wechat to get your message out there.
Article by: Toni Kostanic