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November 30, 2010

Ranked sociality of networks

According to ARMI-Marketing Research Company, over a third of Russian Web users spend most of their time in social networks. Russians believe Twitter microblogging is the "funniest and coolest" resource, whereas Odnoklassniki and My World are the most simple-to-use resources.

ARMI-Marketing is a licensee of the UK-based Millward Brown. It has studied the attitudes of Russians to social networks. The findings will be announced today. Millward Brown conducts similar studies as part of the AdReaction project in many countries. In Russia, a thousand internet users have been interviewed who represented the entire population aged 16-49, ARMI-Marketing reports.

More than a third of Russian Internet users go online specifically to visit social networks, the researchers report. Thus, 8% of the respondents say they spend almost all their online time in social networks and 22% spend there "most of the time". About 33% of the respondents spend there "nearly half the time" and 31% spend a smaller portion of their time in social networks. As low as 1% almost never visit social networks when they are online. The remaining respondents failed to answer.

According to ARMI-Marketing, Odnoklassniki is the best known network: 100% of the respondents are aware of this social network and 79% of the respondents have accounts in this network. The awareness of VKontakte network is a little lower: 99%, but as many as 83% of the respondents are registered in this network – that’s the top rate for all networks (see chart). As evidenced by measurements of TNS Russia, in terms of size the VKontakte audience significantly exceeds that of Odnoklassniki. Last October, almost 12.2 million Russians visited the former network at least once in a week (weekdays) and only 6.7 million visited the latter.

The popularity of Facebook in Russia is still much lower than in developed countries: only 28% of the respondents use this network, though overall 83% are aware of Facebook. According to Millward Brown, in the USA 58% of users are registered there; 54% in France; 65% in Italy; and as high as 66% in the UK. At the same time, the Twitter micro-blogging service is even more popular in Russia than in continental Europe: 9% versus 2% in France and 5% in Italy. The popularity of Twitter in the USA is 20%, and 22% in the UK.

ARMI-Marketing studied attitudes of visitors to the social networks. It asked the respondents to score websites across specific parameters. For example, Twitter was found to be the "funniest and coolest" resource. This score was 3% higher than the researchers expected on average for this particular network. This feature of Facebook also proved to be positive (+1%), whereas the scores of My World (a project of Mail.ru portal) and Odnoklassniki were negative, i.e. less typical:  -3% and -6%, respectively. Yet in the easy-to-use parameter, the respondents scored domestic networks clearly higher. In this parameter, VKontakte scored +4%, Odnoklassniki and My World scored +8%, each. Twitter and Facebook are in the negative: -1% and -5%, respectively.

Users basically entrust their personal information with My World and Facebook; these very networks are also called innovative and frequently offering new services, ARMI-Marketing reports. According to the respondents, Twitter and – again – Facebook set the fashion in the development of social networks. Yet Livejournal.com cares most of all about opinions and feedback of visitors. The respondents say Livejournal.com provides them with the largest amount of information.

Today, almost all advertisers realize the importance of social media, says Julia Udovenko, CMO of MindShare Interaction agency. She believes companies are already able to spend up to 10% of their media online advertising budgets (whose total amount reached 6.5-6.6 billion rubles VAT included, during the first nine months of this year) for activities in such networks, for example create personal pages for brands and their loyalty communities. However, while advertisers have recognized the need to be present in social networks, they still do not understand how to do it effectively, says Julia Udovenko.

Published: Kommersant #221 (4521)

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