Oscars and social media

The annual Oscar awards was once more the focus point of many social media platforms, especially evident in the US. People tweeted and posted comments on everything; from how Jennifer Aniston’s hair looked to how they loved that Russell Crowe was able to keep up with the rest of the Les Miserable cast. While millions of people were watching it on TV, millions were actively chatting away on their various social networks. 

So we asked ourselves what people on Chinese social media sites are saying in regards to the Oscars. We punched in the keyword “Oscars” (奥斯卡) and let our social media monitoring software do its thing. We understand that this single keyword search by no means represents a comprehensive report. For a more holistic report, we would need to include a list of additional keywords, such as the various nominated movie names, key actors etc.

We started at 6pm (EST), two hours before the actual event started and tracked all the way through until the end. The sample that we pulled was about 25,000 posts with 22% of those posts being positive. It appears that men were more active on the various micro blogging platforms, 52.4% men vs. 47.6% women.

71% of the conversations were happening on Sina Weibo, followed by 16% of all posts sampled coming from Tencent. We also saw activity on Twitter (7%) happening in Chinese, though we expect that most of it came from the US or Taiwan, as Twitter is blocked in China.

social platform

Geographically, most of the posts were generated by users based in and around major cities such as Taipei City in Taiwan, followed by Beijing and Guangzhou.

We also took a closer look at the context cloud to see what else was being talked about in regards to the Oscars. We excluded the keyword “Oscars” itself, and found that Ang Lee (李安) was the second most mentioned topic. A close runner-up were posts on the award winning movie “Argo”.

word cloud

Based on the emotional analysis, it seemed that most posts were expressing joy. According to the posts we sampled, people were visibly happy about Ang Lee’s success and actively posted about it.


Digging a bit deeper into these conversations we saw what people posted most about. Using the keyword “Oscars” we registered that numerous conversations were happening around Ann Hathaway and Ang Lee. Posts peaked after it was announced that Ang Lee won his award for best Director.In regards to Anne Hathaway, people made comparisons to Audrey Hepburn during the 26th Oscar Awards in 1954.