Opinion makers

The history of the Armenian blogosphere began in March 2008. At that time, after the presidential election, the opposition, not agreeing with the election results, took to the streets. Clashes began and a number of sites were blocked for several weeks. It was during this period that blogs became the most reliable source of information. From 1 to 20 March, 2008 bloggers dominated the information environment. This dominance was so strong that even later, for two or three years, the accounts of popular bloggers were visited more often than online news resources, not to mention newspapers. Later, the popularity of bloggers was replaced by activity in social networks.

Today, the blogosphere in the classical sense is practically absent in Armenia. There are no Armenian bloggers who write online in plain text format on pressing and topical issues to influence public opinion. The existing blogs are anonymous; it is difficult to identify their authors or the organisations that stand behind them. One of the main reasons, according to the bloggers themselves, is the lack of demand for analytical materials. Another reason is bloggers’ unwillingness to disclose their personal data, hence the lack of public confidence in bloggers and in the material they post online.

However, vlogging is gaining popularity since 2016. There are not so many vloggers, but they have several tens of thousands of subscribers. As a rule, vloggers upload videos on urgent political problems - SOS channel has 50,000 subscribers and covers social and political issues - adekvad has 2,000 subscribers and covers health and healthy lifestyle topics - Doctor Armen Astvatsatryan’s corner has 20,000 subscribers; covers urban stories about the capital of Armenia, Yerevan - Yerevan Every Day, with 6,000 subscribers, covers culinary topics about Armenian food and shares personal stories - Anush The Blogger has 80,000 subscribers. Over the past two years, the famous Armenian vlogger Zhorzh has noticeably increased the number of subscribers. The author conducts a vlog about Armenian food and he managed to gain 1.7 million subscribers.

The main audience of the vlogger is outside the country; its members are either the representatives of the Armenian diaspora or the Russian-speaking audience around the world. Despite the fact that the “Velvet Revolution” in the country took place largely with the help of video broadcasts and direct connections, vlogging did not gain popularity among politicians and oppositionists. Traditionally, the Prime Minister and many other politicians continue to communicate with the public through profiles on Facebook.