RuNet Activity 2016: Top Russian Websites and Mobile Apps

Following up on last week’s blog on analyzing the growth of the Russian Internet over the past year, Russian Search Marketing begins a blog series to update advertisers and webmasters on other relevant information on the status of RuNet. This blog covers the top Russian websites and app downloads by platform.

The Russian Internet is very unique in comparison to most countries when it comes to some of the world’s top websites. Yandex is the number one website in Russia and leader in the search market. Google tends to dominate worldwide but Russians rely more heavily on Yandex in large part due to the search engine’s language capabilities and the impact this has on search results and user experience.  Similarly, local social networking sites Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki prove more popular than Facebook.

Russian search market share 2016

Top Russian Websites

When it comes to the top domestic websites in Russia, Yandex ranks as the top website where users utilize search and 18 other services including Yandex Mail, Yandex.Market, and Yandex.Translatos. Yandex is following closely by, a search engine with other services including email, games, and social media integration.  The next top websites are Russia’s leading social networks,Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki, which both draw users for messaging, photo sharing, forums, and their media content.  Unlike Facebook, these sites draw users who like to listen to music but also save and watch TV shows and movies on the social networks.

Beyond the search engines and social networks, Russians go online for practical reasons related to finding services, banking, and checking the weather.  23 million Russians also spend time on, a service site listing products and services for cars, real estate, and other services. Russians check the weather on local, visit Sberbank for their online banking, and check the news on RIA.  Interestingly, the Yandex owned site is drawing Russians who want to create their own websites.

Russian websites August 205 e marketer

Russia’s Top Mobile Apps

Russia’s mobile internet use has driven a significant portion of the RuNet growth over the past year. Mobile Internet access doubled over the course of the past year.  Approximately 50 million Russian users are accessing the Internet from mobile devices, which is 42% of the adult population in Russia.  Russians’ mobile app downloads ranks Russia as a top ten country for app downloads. On average Russians use five to six apps per day relating to a number of industries including messaging, social networking, and gaming among other topics.

Russian users prefer Android over iOS due to less expensive smartphones offered by Android.  Android use in Russia is about double iOS use on smartphones but Russians prefer iPads over Android tablets.

As of recent AppAnnie statistics, iOS top app charts show that users are mostly interested in downloading fun apps for messaging and gaming.  MSQRD, a photo and video app that is popular worldwide, follows trends for Russian users’ interests in photo sharing and social media. The YouCam and Instagram app rankings also indicate the trend. Russians’ downloads for Whatsapp, Periscope, and VK display Russian interest in social connections from their mobile devices.  Interestingly, downloads for MTC the Russian telecom provider and Sberbank online also show iOS users have other important practical app use besides the social aspect that is much more prevalent among Android users.

ios apps russia 2016

The top paid apps on iPhones in Russia differ from Android ‘s which are mainly gaming apps. The top two iOS paid apps are trackers for a user’s social network visitors while the others cover a range of apps for games and practical use like the app for quitting smoking.

Google play top apps in Russia again show the patterns of users interested in messaging apps and gaming apps above other categories. Almost all of the free apps on Google play in Russia relate to messaging and social networks but include a combinations of both domestic apps like VK and Odnoklassniki and foreign apps like WhatsApp and Instagram.

android apps russia 2016

Most of the paid apps again show the popularity of online gaming from mobile devices. However, a fitness app Runtastic PRO, also speaks to the growing trend for Russians’ commitment to fitness. As of recent, more Russians are hitting the gym, watching home fitness videos, and purchasing equipment for their homes. Wearable devices are catching on and phone apps are clearly also transforming Russians’ healthy lifestyles.

russian apps trending keywords

Between the two operating systems, there is a difference in the top downloads but generally the trends show similar interests among Russians mobile app use.  When looking at the above screenshot of AppAnnie’s trending keywords for Russian app searches, games dominate the list aside from the Yandex app for paying road violation tickets.  Overall, the most popular Russian websites and app use indicate a combination of both domestic and international sites and apps centered around practical and entertaining uses.

Check in next week for the blog on the Russian Internet demographic blog on the 18 to 24 age range!