Social networks

According to the company Mail.ru Group, as of January 2017, of all social networks the Russian Odnoklassniki (Ok.ru) occupied the first place in terms of traffic - the monthly audience of the network users in Armenia reached 1.4 million people, and the daily audience of the network was 713,000 people. Facebook was in second place, Mail.ru and Instagram were in the third. Up to 66 percent of users of social networks in Armenia are men. The social network VKontakte, highly popular in Russia, does not have many Armenian users engaged in discussions. As a rule, Armenian users of VKontakte prefer to watch movies and listen to music.

Social networks are perceived in Armenia as a platform for searching alternative sources of information. Not uncommonly, various campaigns discredit the activities of the official authorities or reveal pressing social problems. During the parliamentary elections, held on April 2, 2017, the highest social network user activity fell on April 1, the pre-election silence day. While the traditional media complied with the universal law, social networks were not subject to the law and continued to distribute the archived materials of various TV and radio channels undisturbed.

During the peaceful transition of the power in April 2018, the number of users of Facebook increased. According to a research conducted by the cyber security expert Samvel Martirosyan, a significant part of the population, up to 250,000 people, moved to Facebook from the Odnoklassniki.ru network during this period, thereby sharply increasing the number of views of articles and video material. This was facilitated by online media, which constantly posted live broadcasts and reports from rallies and protest actions on their social network pages. The key source for the mobilisation of the general public during rallies and for a larger switch of the population to Facebook, were live Facebook broadcasts by the opposition leader Nikol Pashinyan. Pashinyan actually created a precedent: By establishing direct connections with the population, he managed to push the traditional media out of the information field and become the main newsmaker.

Facebook, in turn, lost some users, who moved in three directions in favour of Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn. According to the site Similarweb, in the autumn of 2018, YouTube ranks first in terms of traffic among online resources, Facebook ranks second, ok.ru takes third place, and Instagram and Twitter are last on the list. Interestingly, thanks to the active work of young bloggers, YouTube is interpreted in Armenia as a social network with all its components, rather than as a platform for posting online broadcasts and videos.