Russia – What are you doing?!

russia apple

Russia is on the verge of social media explosion. Yes – Russia!

The former closed communist state is already the fourth biggest market in Europe for social networking. One of the main social networks in Russia, Odnoklassniki (Одноклассники) is reporting 30 million registered users. The site, which connects classmates, is used in both Russia and the Ukraine and attracts 8 million visitors each day.

The problem is these sites only allow Russians to speak with Russians and little interaction is taking place with the rest of the world. The internet is bringing down the ‘cyber walls’ across the world and it is beginning to happen in places like Iran and Russia.

Take for example the Twitter explosion currently happening around the recent Iranian elections and subsequent protests. Iranians flooded the site to get word out about police beatings and information to outsiders about social unrest happening in the streets of Tehran.

To make this social media explosion happen citizens need to network outside their borders. Recently, Facebook has taking a $200 million investment from Digital Sky Technologies, an Internet holding company with Russian roots. This will help Russians talk more outside their borders.

This social media explosion will not come from broadband access and home computers but from use on mobile devices like cell phones. Take for example this interesting statistic that Russian mobile phone penetration is a wacky 131.4%, so one in every three Russians has two cell phones!

What we are seeing with Iranians distributing information by social networks will grow from behind the iron firewall of Russia.

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One Response to Russia – What are you doing?!

  1. Interesting title and nice image find to post within this post. Given your provocative title, I was expecting something more contentious for the pitch – but you did raise an important point about the growth of social media. In the post, you need to relate it more to what this means for a brand interested in engaging through social media online. For example, if your last point about mobile is saying that this mobile penetration means that all those people are also accessing the Internet through their phones instead of through their computers, you need to make that case so we can follow you along the way. If this expansion will not come from broadband or computers, as you say, that surely that has some big implications for brands who are still thinking in terms of the PC? Make sure you paint the picture for us beyond initially beginning it. (3)

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