WeChat and blog combining social media

Parallel running of two social media from different countries: WeChat and blog for international students

Our work with Chinese students from the Confucius Institute (CI) at St. Cloud State University (SCSU) shed light on an interesting development: in the last several years, the popular Chinese social media platform WeChat dominates the social life of Chinese people, Chinese students in particular.

WeChat, like WhatsApp in Europe, Vkontakte in Russia, Weibo in China, or before its 2014 Orkut in Brazil (http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2014/07/05/social-media-orkut-the-and-of-an-era/ seeks to create its own users’ momentum, and no differently from Facebook, expand that membership momentum from the host country to a global dominance (http://blog.stcloudstate.edu/ims/2017/08/06/psychology-of-social-networks/;  more citation comes here).

Based on the WeChat affinity of the Chinese students at the SCSU CI program, the program organizers faced difficulty applying other social media platforms, as part of the curricula of the host country. Namely, blog, as one of the widely used SM platform for creative writing (citation comes here), was contemplated as a SM platform for the Chinese students to journal their experience at the SCSU CI program. Since WeChat behaves rather like Facebook and Snapchat, the lack of opportunity to utilize widely available platform for rather lengthy narration (versus SMS/texting abilitis of Twitter and WeChat) convince the SCSU CI program organizers to seek the buy in by Chinese students into the blog initiative.

Pang (2018) builds a theory based on Ellison (2007) theory of “maintained social capital,” namely the ability of individuals to maintain values of social ties when geographically disconnected. Ping (2018) further narrows her research on Chinese students in Germany using Li and Chen (2014) findings about Ellison’s theory on students in a foreign environment and the necessity for these students to build a new circle of friends in the host country. According to Basilisco an Cha (2015), such environment was provided for Filipino students by using Facebook and Twitter.


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