How foreign social networks are very popular in Russia after the “special operation”
Extremist social networks
The daily audience of Facebook (owned by Meta, which is recognized as extremist and banned in Russia) in Russia is eight times captured from January to July 2022, the audience of Instagram (owned by Meta, which is recognized as extremist and banned in Russia) is almost four times. follows from the data of the research company Mediascope. Especially for Forbes, Mediascope calculated the daily audience of the most popular social networks in Russia. The data cover the entire population of Russia aged 12 years and over.
Mediascope calculated the data for Facebook and Instagram in sections – taking into account two sessions of any duration and taking into account the duration of sessions from 5 minutes or more. The first indicator includes cases when a person enters the Facebook and Instagram application, but immediately exits, because nothing works in it or is not updated due to blocking (with this such session is counted), the company notes.
After the start of Russia’s “special operation”* in Ukraine, the Instagram audience fell by 21.5% from 37.8 million to 30 million users in March. Then last year, Instagram fell twice more, to 14.2 million people. By July, the average daily number of users increased to 10.6 million. If we talk about sessions that lasted 5 minutes, here the number of users was consumed even faster. From February to March, the audience fell by 41% from 28.9 million to 16.9 million users, and from March to April it almost tripled to 6 million people. By July, the average daily monitoring of Instagram applications registered up to 5.5 million.
The audience of the social network Facebook decreased by 4.7 times from about 9 million users in August to 1.9 million. At the same time, 2.7 million people were observed in the Facebook application in 5 minutes, and only 305,000 users in a week.
In Russia Facebook blocked March 4 by Roskomnadzor due to 26 cases of “discrimination against Russian media and information resources” by the social network. Instagram has become not available on the territory of our country since March 11.
“The audience of Facebook and Instagram could have fallen, but they are not so included,” said Artem Kozlyuk, head of the public organization Roskomsvoboda. According to the statement, in connection with the profit of blocking media and social services, Russians have become actively use VPN and enter the network not by their IP addresses, hence the methodology for counting voice questions. A spokesman for Mediascope said that the company “sees all the images of media consumption” and those users who access services through a VPN, as data is collected using technology.
The most noticeable increase in the number of users in Telegram messengers: in six months, its audience grew by 66% from 25 million in January to 41.5 million people per day in July. The main jump took place in March – the audience increased to 40.6 million compared to 27.5 million in the observed. In March, the State Duma and the Federation Council of Russia passed a law providing for up to 15 years in prison for “fakes” about the actions of the Russian military. After that, some media declared on the consumption of work in Russia.
Telegram follows news content: many people read news in messengers – it’s convenient and you don’t need to turn on VPN, Chief Analyst of the Russian Federation of Electronic Communications (RAEC) Karen Kazaryan. For example, the blocked media Meduza (recognized as an external agent) has more than millions of subscribers on Telegram, he noted. Telegram channels began to replace media people, agrees Kozlyuk from Roskomsvoboda. According to him, users go for independent information.
The audience of the VKontakte social network has also grown from 46 million people in January to 50 million in July, according to Mediascope data. News The growth of the social network has been strongly delayed since March, Kazaryan says. According to him, this may be due to the fact that in the first month after the start of the “special operation”, those applications came to VKontakte that were going to promote their business on this platform. “In which social networks are those who need VKontakte for work, and the rest prefer to use VPN,” he said. A source close to VKontakte (the owner of the social network) told Forbes that there is a big effect on the growth of VKontakte broadcast: the site already captures almost all Internet users in Russia.
A representative of VKontakte told Forbes that the audience of social networks is growing even in summer, when people usually relax and spend less time on the Internet. In his opinion, the most important thing is that not only the audience has increased, but also its activity – the time that users visit on social networks has grown by 7% in January to July 2022.
It would be very interesting to see the statistics of the Discord messenger, continued by Kazarian from RAEC: “The audience is expected to spread over more resources, and Discord is a fairly popular service, approximately at the level of Twitter.” Discord has no response to Forbes request.
Among the new trends in Runet is the growth in the number of media that are associated with e-mail newsletters, says Kozlyuk from Roskomsvoboda. According to him, many media outlets now use this type of information delivery due to blocking, or simply separate separate mailing projects in order to diversify the flow of information dissemination. “E-mail newsletters are experiencing a renaissance,” he says.
In addition, the media and social networks visit their sites in the .onion domain zone in the Tor network, the head of Roskomsvoboda noted. There has long been a representative office New York Times, facebook and other projects. “Russian steel media are also looking at such decentralized anonymous sites. Now they are not extremely popular to talk about millions of users, but the more countries, including Russia, the faster the borders will be drawn, the faster the invaders of decentralized platforms will be, where there is no power of either states or corporations,” Kozlyuk said. .
* According to the requirements of Roskomnadzor, in the production of materials for use in the production of Ukraine, all Russian media require the use of materials only from the original sources of the Russian Federation. We cannot publish materials during which an operation called “attack”, “invasion” or “declaration of war” is carried out, unless it is a direct quote (Article 57 of the Federal Law on the Media). In case of violation of the requirements, the media may be fined 5 million rubles, and the blocking of the publication may also be continued.