Russia: The Fourth Largest Social Networking Market in Europe

futurelab default header

We’ve posted in the past about the use of social media in Russia, when Russian President Dmitry Medvedev launched a video blog. But data from TNS shows that use of social media and social networking in the country is widespread, making it the fourth largest market in Europe for social networking behind the UK, Germany and France.

The January Web Index for TNS shows that two leading social networks in Russia are witnessing the kind of acceleration in growth that we have seen in other social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

One of the main social networks in Russia, Odnoklassniki (Одноклассники) is reporting 30 million registered users. The site, which (as the name suggests) connects classmates is used in both Russia and the Ukraine and attracts 8 million visitors each day. VKontakte (В контакте) is Odnoklassniki’s biggest competitor with a reported 28 million registered users and 1.4 billion page views each day and 13.09 million visitors each month.

These statistics are impressive and firmly place Russia as the fourth biggest market in Europe for social networking. The total number of users of both of these sites is remarkable given that in 2008, Russia’s overall internet population was reported to be just 33 million people. It is true that internet access is increasing rapidly in Russia, and the growth of social networks is accompanying this. When people go online for the first time they appear to be joining and using social networks almost immediately.

This behaviour teaches us much about innovation in online uses. Many people talk about Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 and the progression there has been from one to the other. For those regions with the fastest growth in internet access, such distinctions become less useful. For these newly connected individuals, they only know one version of the Web. One that includes social networks, social media and online communities. For them it’s less that the internet has changed and they can now do new things, but more that they’ve always been able to connect, share, discuss and meet people online. It’s in these markets that I would expect to see some of the biggest innovations in online use, and the Russian social networking market is certainly one to watch.

Some more reading

Original Post: