According to research by Yandex Ukraine, Ukrainians have created 40 million accounts on popular social networks like Odnoklassniki, Vkontakte (VK.com), Facebook, and Twitter as of summer 2014. Russian social networks still dominate the market, as 27 million accounts have been created on Vkontakte and 11 million have been created on Odnoklassniki, as opposed to only 3.2 million Ukrainian accounts on Facebook and 430,000 on Twitter.
Not only is Vkontakte the leading overall service, but it leads the rankings in nearly every region (oblast). Only in the Donetsk region is Odnoklassniki more popular. Based on the number of accounts created, Vkontakte is most popular in the Kyiv (Kiev), Dnipropetrovsk (Dnepropetrovsk), and Lviv (Lvov) regions.
Number of Ukrainian accounts on Vkontakte, Odnoklassniki, Facebook and Twitter
The number of Vkontakte accounts created approaches or exceeds the number of inhabitants in the Kyiv, Lviv and Dnipropetrovsk areas.
Odnoklassniki claims its highest number of accounts in the Kyiv, Donetsk, and Dnipropetrovsk regions, while the greatest number of Facebook accounts have appeared in Kyiv, Lviv, Kharkov and their surrounding areas.
There are fewer social network aficionados in the Nikolayevsk, Ivano-Frankivsk (Ivano-Frankovsk), Volynsk and Chernivets (Chernovets) areas.
Most Ukrainian users of Odnoklassniki are between 26 and 35 years old, while most Vkontakte users are between 16 and 25. Odnoklassniki users tend to be older than those on Vkontakte, with 40% of users of the former service stating that they are 35 years old or older. Only 15% of Ukrainian users of Vkontakte are 35 or older.
Twitter has exploded in popularity in Ukraine, experiencing 50% growth in terms of accounts from the beginning of 2013. The events of the Euromaidan greatly boosted the popularity of that service in 2013, as the number of accounts created monthly increased from roughly 6-7,000 until November, to roughly 16,000 in December, and approximately 55,000 in January 2014.
Two years ago, Ukrainians tweeted 90,000 messages daily on average, but that figure has sharply risen since then. During Euromaidan, the figure rose to approximately 130,000 tweets daily, with a record-high of roughly 240,000 sent on February 22, the day that Viktor Yanukovych fled the country. Yandex Ukraine says that, prior to Euromaidan, the average tweet in Ukrainian was 97 characters long, while the average in Russian was 75. After Euromaidan, the length of the average Ukrainian-language tweet increased to 105 characters, while the length of the average Russian-language tweet remained roughly the same.
Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki are the leading Russian-language social networks with their strongest positions in a several countries of the former Soviet Union. Both networks are subsidiaries of Mail.ru Group, an LSE-listed Russian Internet company.
As reported earlier by Ukraine Digital News, the popularity of existing Russian social networks seems to be declining in Ukraine as visitors tend to use more Western sites – at least if measured in page views. In the year to July 2014, the share of VKontakte’s pages in the total volume of page views declined from 37% to 21.9%, while Odnoklassniki saw a fall from 10% to 3.6%, according to StatCounter. By contrast, Facebook has expanded its share from 29% to 41.5% and Twitter grew from 7% to 14%. However, Russian social platforms are still market leaders by the total volume of their local audiences, reported Capital.ua.
Within the past year, a range of new social networks – including SocialFace, Zine, Ukrainci, Druzi, WeUa – have emerged in the country as domestic challengers to the more established Russian and US players.
The full report is available here (in Ukrainian language only).