Russia has the largest Internet audience in Europe with approximately 63 million daily Russian Internet Users.  With only a little over half of Russia’s population online, there is still a lot more room to grow! According to eMarketer, 64.2% of Russia’s population will use the Internet in 2016.  The market draws significant attention from international online businesses looking to break into a growing market. Knowing the user base and their Internet habits helps to target this audience well and localize for their behavior. This blog covers recent research from Yandex, Russia’s leading search engine, on Russian Internet users.

Russian Internet users 2015

How Russians are accessing the Internet:

There are multiple ways Russian’s may access the internet, the most popular being a combination of both computers and mobile devices. 52% of  Russia’s Internet users access the Internet using both computers and mobile devices. 29% of monthly Russian Internet users use computers to access the internet, while only 19% use mobile devices.

Russian Internet user device

The penetration of the Russian mobile Internet is strongest among young people.  About 90% of users under 35 years old access the Internet from mobile devices (strictly on mobile or along with desktops).  According to Yandex.Metrica, 29% of all website visits were from mobile devices. Nearly three-quarters of these visits comes from phones, which continues to grow. This year there was a slight increase in the  share of tablet based website visits among visits from all types of devices.

Russian Internet Users by Age:

The majority of Russia’s Internet users are between the ages of 25 and 34. Overall, there is greater Internet use among all ages in areas with higher populations. In smaller areas, older Russians are using the Internet less but access the web more from their phones due to costs and ease. Younger users have a much higher Internet penetration growing up with it, while the older populations take less interest in online activity.

RuNet age distribution

Russian Internet Users by Location:

Russian Internet users are higher in cities where the Internet is more easily accessible, compared to areas where the internet is still growing and access may be more limited.

russian int users regional distribution

In cities with a population of less than 500 thousand and villages, the number of users continues to grow, and there’s still a few million people young and middle age people who do not yet use the Internet.

russian regional distribution by size

What Russians doing online:

Excluding all Yandex websites, which are the most popular sites in Russia, the next most popular Russian website is Vkontakte, which is the Russian equivalent to Facebook. Similar to Facebook, Vkontakte serves many of the same social functions, but also provides further entertainment services. This includes being able to stream music and films. The second most popular website in Russia is avito.ru. Avito.ru is basically a Russian equivalent to Craigslist. The third most popular site in Russia is mail.ru, which is very similar to Yahoo or Aol. Mail.ru provides a mailing service, as well as providing news, weather, and a search engine for its users.

top russian websites

Next week Russian search marketing focuses on the development of the Russian mobile Internet research!