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Kobe Bryant Expanding Social Media Horizons

Kobe Bryant joined Sina Weibo, sometimes called "Chinese Twitter," and followed a similar strategy to his introduction to Twitter.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers and wife Vanessa Bryant watch during the Sprite Slam Dunk Contest part of 2013 NBA All-Star Weekend at the Toyota Center on February 16, 2013 in Houston, Texas.

    After diving into the world of Twitter in early January, Kobe Bryant has followed an almost identical strategy in joining the Chinese social media micro-blogging site Sina Weibo, which has over 400 million members.

    Prior to starting his own Twitter account, Bryant took over the Nike Basketball account and said he enjoyed the ability to interact directly with fans. Since taking the plunge on Twitter, Bryant has engaged with fans and critics, alike. Recently, Bryant made headlines for responding to a fan who used the word “gay” as an insult.

    Kobe Bryant Talks About Win Against Phoenix Suns

    [LA] Kobe Bryant Post-Game: Lakers vs Suns
    This video was shot at Kobe Bryant's locker following the Lakers' 91-85 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Feb. 12, 2013. (Published Tuesday, Feb 12, 2013)

    The Los Angeles Lakers superstar has collected over 1.3 million followers on twitter to this point. 

    Similar to his start to Twitter, Bryant took over the Nike Basketball account before registering his own account on Sina Weibo, which is often called the “Chinese twitter.” Bryant took a moment to wish his fans a happy Chinese New Year though the Nike Basketball account prior to starting his own account.

    Lakers Kobe Bryant & Shaq Friends

    [LA] Kobe Bryant, Shaq's Sidekick
    This Lakers video was shot at Staples Center at the locker of Kobe Bryant on Feb. 12, 2013. (Published Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013)

    “I receive a great amount of help in terms of translation,” Bryant revealed to ESPNLA radio on Monday, as the site is designed for Chinese speaking users.

    Bryant has consistently been one of the most famous athletes in China, selling more jerseys than any other NBA player.

    Lakers' Kobe Bryant Not Concerned

    [LA] Lakers' Kobe Bryant Not Concerned
    Kobe Bryant says he is not worried about recent shooting and lackluster play in this video shot on Feb. 12, 2013 inside the Lakers' locker room. (Published Thursday, Feb 14, 2013)

    In 2011, Bryant recently saw his popularity fall from most popular athlete in America to third behind Derek Jeter and Peyton Manning.  However, Bryant’s recent emergence on Twitter appears to be a marketing strategy that is working to keep the 34-year-old popular with the younger generation.

    Bryant’s Facebook page has nearly 15.8 million “likes.” In comparison, LeBron James has 13.5 million “likes,” and Kevin Durant has 3.7 million “likes.”

    The full level of Bryant’s involvement on Sina Weibo remains to be seen, but his global stardom is hard to deny as he continues to conquer new social mediums.