Mobile users become the majority on the Russian Internet

Russians are now using the Internet on their mobile devices more frequently than through conventional computers. According to web statistics service LiveInternet, in November some 51% of Russian Internet users (31.1 million) accessed the web on their mobile devices, both phones and tablets. In October, the figure was 49.9% (29.4 million), with the majority still using their computers.

“This trend was first reflected on social networks like VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. These communications services have become the growth drivers. A new medium of interaction is being formed – people are always in touch,” says the founder of LiveInternet German Klimenko.

According to Klimenko, for many Russians the mobile device is a kind of “intermediate gadget:” a person uses it to keep in touch while moving from one space with a computer to another.

At the same time, people logged on via computers are the ones spending money online, says Andrey Burin,  the CEO of Internet dating service “The large number of inexpensive gadgets based on Android is driving the increase in mobile users. As a rule, it is a less solvent audience,” explains Burin.

According to the CEO of children’s social network Oleg Ulyansky, children tend to surf the Internet through mobile devices. “The Internet usage base is becoming more youthful. There has been a sharp increase in web traffic driven by children. Young people mostly use tablets and smartphones. Parents are giving tablets practically to infants. With the models being constantly updated, parents buy themselves new releases and give the older versions to their children. It’s much easier for a modern child to work with a touchscreen rather than with a mouse – games invented for a mouse have a different logic compared to touch-based ones. There comes a time when you have to reinvent online services, transforming the entire landscape,” says Ulyansky.

There is no significant differentiation in Internet usage type by gender. More than 52% of men go online via mobile devices, and more than 51% of women use desktop computers, according to LiveInternet.

The most popular operating system among Russian mobile Internet users is Android, according to LiveInternet. The market share of this platform continues to grow: in October some 33.1% of Internet users came online via Android, in November it was 34%. The second most popular operating system is Windows 7, but its share is declining: 31.1% used it in October and 30.6% in November. In third place is Apple’s iOS, commanding a share of 9.5% in October and 9.8% in November.

This article originally appeared on EWDN on December 12, 2014.