Every year, the social media management platform Hootsuite 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. We combed through this ever-growing report to distill the 10 key takeaways regarding the current state of internet usage in Russia:
1) Internet penetration stands at 76% (higher than South America at 73%, Southeast Asia at 63%, or Oceania at 69%)
2) There are currently 109.6 million internet users in Russia. The majority of them (75%) live in urban areas, where there are more opportunities to engage in e-commerce (more on this in a future RSM article).
3) More Russians use desktops or laptops (68%) than smartphones (61%) to access the internet. Tablets fall far behind at 28 %.
4) 85% of internet users in Russia access the web every day (in comparison to 86% of Americans).
5) Russians spend an average of 6 hours and 29 minutes on the internet every day (via any type of device). This is only 2 minutes less than the average daily internet usage among Americans.
6) 64% of Russians use the mobile internet (in comparison to 82% of Americans).
7) 6 of the 10 most frequently visited websites belong to Russian companies. In search, Yandex gets more traffic than either the google.ru or google.com and the Russian social networks Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki rank as the #2 and #7 most visited sites respectively.
8) 90% of internet users stream video content and YouTube ranks as the most popular site in the TV&VIDEO category.
9) 21% of internet users search using voice commands. Additionally, smart speakers built using Russian-language speech kits (notably Yandex Station) have expanded the range of tasks that Russians can accomplish using voice recognition technology.
10) 24% of internet users use ride-hailing services. Notably, Yandex.Taxi has operated more than 1 billion rides since it started operating in 2011.
Main trend in internet usage for 2019
Far and away the most significant global internet trend is the shift to voice search. Smart speakers like Amazon’s Alexa and Yandex’s Station have enabled people to use the internet in ways that were unthinkable just a few years ago. Worldwide, 4 in 10 internet users employ voice commands or voice search at least once a month. Though this statistic for Russia is behind the global average at 21%, it is forecasted to grow as more programs enable Russian-language voice recognition technology.
Global platforms like Google, Facebook, and Amazon will continue to seek out ever more convenient ways to interact with new users and voice search is an ideal way to accomplish this. It is likely that the shift to voice will continue to have a huge impact on how people interact with internet-based content and their devices.