Why Russia Resists Facebook: Domestic social networking sites dominate in former Soviet Union

Piotr Konwicki

Published: December 2013

The social media websites phenomenon started in 1997 with SixDegrees.com, which allowed users to create profiles, list their Friends and surf the Friends lists. Facebook launched in 2004 and became synonymous with the growth of this sector, exceeding 1.1 billion active users in 2013. Russia is, however, a major country with open-market access where Facebook has not been in a position to compete successfully with local service providers. This article examines the defining features of social networking sites and their growth potential worldwide, looks at the factors which influence their valuation and analyses unique features of the Russian market which have to date prevented Facebook’s expansion.

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