Social media apps in Russia



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Russia may not be the first market you think of when looking to expand your social media marketing. Overlooking the country's 70 million active social media users, however, would be a major oversight if you plan to establish a business presence in the country.

In Russia, companies like Facebook and Twitter do not have the same market share they enjoy in Europe and North America. Instead, companies like VKontakte (VK) and OdnoKlassnik dominate the market.


VK (previously known as Vkontakte) continues to remain the most popular social media platform in Russia. VK claims over 46 million users and surpasses other social media giants like Facebook in terms of usage. While VKK provides a “Facebook-like” user experience, one of VK’s main advantages over Facebook is its ability to allow users to send messages and transfer video or audio files directly in the app, without requiring more than one app download (Facebook requires a separate Messenger app to be installed onto the device).


VK’s average user tends to be in the younger market, while older social media users prefer to connect with friends and family on OK (originally Odnoklassniki, which means “classmates”). OK allows for standard social media actions such as profile creation, searching for friends, and sharing statuses, news, and images. OK’s main focus, as the name suggests, is on connecting with old classmates and people that users may have lost touch with over a number of years. OK.ru has over 31 million viewers per month, 69% of which are women.


While Facebook is not the most popular social media app in Russia, its popularity continues to increase as the emerging app market grows. This trend has been confirmed by Airnow Data’s platform, which shows that over the last year downloads for Facebook have slowly been getting closer and closer to VK and OK on Android. For VK, the total number of downloads in the last year was 13 million, for OK this was 11.4 million, while Facebook reached 3.9 million.

Wrapping up

The success of unique social media platforms such as VK and OK in Russia and surrounding countries can be surprising to those of us who are used to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram holding an almost complete monopoly over social media communication. In this way, Russia makes a refreshing break from the rest of the world, contributing to its uniqueness as an app market.