Knowledge Bridge

Global Intelligence for the Digital Transition

News groups should tap Russian social networks diaspora presence

Odnoklassniki, the second largest Russian-language social networking site, will soon launch an English version to help expand its presence in the international market and take advantage of its considerable audience in the Russian diaspora. The social networkSocial networkAn online destination that gives users a chance to connect with one or more…

While Facebook is dominant in most markets around the world, Odnoklassniki reached 38.1% of the Russian online audience in 2011, according to TNS, far more than Facebook’s reachReach1) unique users that visited the site over the course of the reporting period,…

In addition to its domestic dominance, foreign users constitute an important share of the audience. According to Live Internet, Odnoklassniki attracts 29 million unique users monthly, and is particularly popular among the worldwide Russian diaspora. The site claims to serve 1 million users from the United States as well as 80% of the Russian-language population of Australia. In an effort to continue its international growth, Alexander Izryadnov, an executive at the Mail.Ru Group the parent company for the service, also announced that Odnoklassniki will offer localized versions to its Uzbek, Armenian, Georgian and Moldovan audiences by the end of 2012.

Today, a significant trend for social networks is that most of the traffic goes not to the website, but to the mobile version. Mali.ru group noted that the mobile version of the Russian site is even more popular than the web version among its diaspora users. The daily audience of the iPhone version of the site grew from 10,000 to 250,000 over the course of 2011.

With the international growth of Odnoklassniki, it demonstrates how Russian social networks can be a channel to help news organisations tap diaspora audiences, just as Facebook can do this for news organisations in countries where it dominates. The development also suggests that in order to leverage more audience on the social media, news organisations needs to employ a wider range of marketing strategies, including social media strategies, rather than focusing solely on their site.

Article by Ran Ju

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