10 key statistics on social media usage in Russia (2019)

Every year the Hootsuite social media management platform and the We Are Social agency compiles a Global Digital Yearbook that covers developments in internet, social media, mobile and e-commerce usage throughout the world. Russian Search Marketing previously published key takeaways on internet usage in Russia and now we’d like to turn our attention to the current social media landscape:

Social media penetration by region

The number of social network users worldwide has now reached almost 3.5 billion according to data from the most popular social platforms. Users are spread across more than 230 countries and territories. In just the last 12 months alone, 288 million new accounts were registered, bringing the global total for social network penetration up to 45%.

Of course, activity on social networks is not evenly distributed across the world. Here are 10 key statistics on social media usage in Russia:

Social media usage in Russia - overview

1) Social media penetration stands at 49% (higher than in any part of Africa (which ranges between 7-40%, Central Asia at 16%, or Southern Asia at 24%).

2) There are currently 70 million active social media users in Russia. The majority of them (57+M) use mobile devices to access their social accounts.

3) The most active social media platforms (including messaging apps) in Russia are YouTube, VK, and WhatsApp. More than twice as many Russians (83%) reported using the homegrown VK (also known as VKontakte) as Facebook (39%).

Social media usage in Russia - top platforms

4) 99% of internet users in Russia visited a social network or messaging service in the past month (in comparison to 97% of Americans).

5) Russians spend an average of 2 hours and 16 minutes on social media sites every day (via any type of device). This is 12 minutes more than the average daily social media usage among Americans.

6) 14% of Russians use social networks for work (the same percentage as Americans).

7) Of the most popular American social networks, Instagram enjoys the broadest reach. According to Instagram, 37M Russian users can be reached via ads on their platform. This translates into 30% of the population age 13+.

Social media usage in Russia - Instagram stats

8) LinkedIN, which ranks as the leading social network for work worldwide, has relatively low penetration in Russia — ads on their platform reach 7.6M users or 6.6% of the 18+ population (compared to 59% of Americans). This is partly due to the fact that the service has officially blocked in Russia since 2016 when the platform failed to transfer all data on Russian users to servers located within Russia.

9) Western social stalwarts Facebook and Twitter don’t cover as broad a user base in Russia as they do in the USA. According to Facebook data, 11% of Russian adults aged 13+ can be reached with Facebook ads (compared to 76% of Americans). This same figure is only 1.7% for Twitter ads (compared to 17% for Americans).

10) Between Jan 2018-Jan 2019, Russia gained 2 million active social media users (+3.3%). During this same period, that figure for the USA remained unchanged.

The social landscape will keep changing

The shift to the story format will be one of the most popular trends in social media this year. First popularized by SnapChat before being eclipsed by Instagram, the story format has now continued to evolve via video-story apps like Tik Tok and MashApp. Among Russian users, YouTube and VK will likely remain the leading two platforms. Businesses interested in reaching Russian consumers should also consider advertising on Instagram, which continues to gain more and more popularity and moved from 4th to 3rd place in the social platform ranking since last year’s report.