Plurk: What It Is and How to Join It

A Twitter-style social network with a horizontal timeline

Plurk is a social networking platform that will remind many users of Twitter, but perhaps a version of Twitter from an earlier period of its development. This article examines how Plurk works, how to sign up for it, and how Plurk compares to Twitter.

What Is Plurk?

Screenshot of Plurk timeline

Plurk is a social network and short blogging platform that launched in 2008 in Taiwan. It is fairly similar to Twitter in terms of features, but with a smaller community and less-refined design.

The platform was created by a group called "The A-Team"—no more information about its members is publicly known—but the company has been led by CEO Alvin Woon since 2013. The name "Plurk" is a combination of the words "play" and "work", as well as "people" and lurk."

While Plurk claims users around the world, the largest portion of its user base is in Taiwan and Asia.

How Does Plurk Work?

Users post short messages—called "plurks", similar to Twitter users posting "tweets"—to the platform. Users can follow each other, view plurks on a timeline, comment on each other's messages, and more. Plurks are text by default, but can also include photos and videos, among other media. Plurks have a 360-character limit.

While Plurk's features and concept are similar to Twitter's, its most significant difference is that its timeline scrolls horizontally, rather than vertically. Users can customize their profile page using CSS.

In addition to public posts, users can send one-to-one direct messages, post privately, and have private group conversations. Users receive Karma points by posting messages, getting other users to comment on their posts, through regular use of the site, inviting people to use Plurk, and accepting friend requests. Karma seems to be a score (like Klout on Twitter in the past), but not something that can be used.

How Do I Join Plurk?

Plurk is free to join. You can sign up with an email address at Plurk's sign-up page.

What Does Plurk Cost?

Plurk is free to use and is supported by ads. It offers an add-on purchase to unlock additional features called Plurk Coins.

Plurk Coins unlock features including hiding ads, adding hundreds of additional emoticons, uploading higher-res photos, filtering your timeline, and more. All of these features cost 1 Plurk Coin every 30 days. To retain the features, you must spend another Coin.

As of this writing, coins cost US$2.19 for 1 coin or offer a bulk discount of $20.90 for 12 coins.

How Does Plurk Compare to Twitter?

Plurk vs. Twitter

  • Post short messages, follow others' posts, and interact

  • View messages on a horizontal timeline

  • Ad supported, with add-on purchases to unlock features

  • 360-character limit on posts

  • Allows 1:1 direct messages, group chats, and private posting

  • Relatively small audience, with particular focus in Asia

  • Post short messages, follow others' posts, and interact

  • View messages on a vertical timeline

  • Ad supported, with add-on purchases like account verification

  • 280-character limit on posts (Twitter Blue is 4,000)

  • Allows 1:1 direct messages and private posting

  • Huge global audience


Plurk has many similarities to Twitter and has existed for almost 15 years, but the platform doesn't seem to have kept up regarding features, polish, and audience. Fans of Twitter will find familiar elements on Plurk, but the smaller community scale and conversation may leave many of them looking for other options.

  • Are there mobile apps for Plurk?
  • How do I link on Plurk?

    Sharing a link on Plurk works the same way as doing so on Twitter and other social-media sites. Paste the link into the status field, and the site will appear as a preview window when you post it.

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