Social networks

In the 2010s, a new stage of the Internet maturation in Russia has been characterised by the increased influence of social media widely used by younger generations. The Russian-language Internet grows owing to the popular national services VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. In the early 2010s the average time Russian users spent on social networks was up to 13 hours a month. Russians actively use global Google as well as the national search engine Yandex and the postal service.  

However, the main focus of Internet news search and communication in Russia is the social media, which include the blogosphere, social networks, microblogs (Twitter) and the like. RuNet comprised 12 million blogs, 10 percent of which were regularly updated. Social networks in Russia became the most popular Internet resource for Russian users (34 percent of all audiences), followed by search engines and email services. However, the users of social networks are characterised by generational differences. For instance, younger users access fewer networks through mobile devices while older users access more networks from personal computers.  

The most popular websites of the Russian Internet in terms of reach are the search engine Google with the desktop and mobile reach of 40.4 million people, and Russian search engine Yandex (39.9 million). In 2017 a popular Russian social network Vkontakte was repositioned and claimed to have a monthly active audience of 95 million. Its main competitor the social network Odnoklassniki had 71 million. monthly users.  

Since the mid-2010s a very recent trend in the segment of social networks has been the rise of messengers, and among them are global brands such as WhatsApp with 10.6 million users (40.7 percent of Russians), Viber 8.6 million (33 percent), Skype 3.4 million (13,3 percent). Created by Pavel Durov from Russia, Telegram has had an indicative success in 2018 with 7.7 percent (with a year over year growth of about 4.5 percent). Instagram is also a very popular social media network with about 22 million monthly users in Russia.