Mystery of Russian social network


In 2006 a young student of St. Petersburg State University (btw, it is my place of study too) established a platform for pupils and students. One year later the web-site Vkontakte.ru (today it has domain vk.com) became the 3rd popular site in the Russian web. Translation of word “Vkontakte” mean approximately the following: “In contact/connection”. As it’s known now, the format of the site was briefly based on the Facebook example, however, it has many differences. 2 interesting financial facts: 1) Vkontakte’s founder, Pavel Durov, had about 2 billion euros in 2012; 2) Vkontakte donated $1 million to Wikipedia after f2f meeting of P. Durov and J. Wales on an IT-conference

A lot of people ask me why I prefer the Russian version of social network. The goal of this post is just to clarify it and explore vk.com for you!
Let’s start

1) First of all, it is Russian. For Vkontakte it was easy to attract new participants as few people knew about Facebook in the Russian Federation, but vk.com became viral after couple thousand registered and today we see about 300-350 million visitors per month. It is very popular in Belarus, Ukrain and in all CIS countries.

2) Secondly, it is much, much, MUCH faster than Facebook. Maybe because of fewer visitors or maybe because of the fact that best programmers work in vk.com.

3) Next thing, which is very important for me personally, is the interface and its structure. On Facebook you see chaotic location of advertisement, sponsored news in timeline, groups, much useless offers and recommendations from Facebook. In contrast, on Vkontakte you have well-structured page space. You may see it in the following pictures. I changed the language of my account from Russian to English for you. By the way, Vkontakte has about 70 languages.

Image

Image

4) Search functions are smarter and faster. It doesn’t need to be described. It is a fact.

5) There are no irritating notifications about others activity on Vkontakte. For example, the Facebook wants to inform me about every single action of my friends: she liked picture of unknown for you, Nikita, girl in Instagram; he added somebody to friends and this guy commented the post which you, Nikita, also had commented 389 days ago! I do not really care about it. I know that I may change settings, but it requires time and efforts. However, on Vkontakte you are informed about the most significant things and you don’t miss anything. You may see all this useless information as on FB, but it happens just when you open special tab; default setting is that the platform doesn’t notify you, that’s cool.

6) For me, design is not very important, but I like Vk’s one more than FB’s design.

7) The ONLY thing I like on FB is the system of automatic face recognition in uploaded pictures

8) The last but not the least, for users there is one pleasant point – incredible amount of free music and movies built right into the platform directly or from other sources. You may think it is piracy, but they have quite interesting policy. The administration doesn’t delete anything until the moment a copyright holder asks for deletion of it.

To recap, it is my objective point of view and I am loyal Vkontakte user. This site is more user-friendly, innovative and developing than Facebook.

If you have any question, I’ll be happy to answer

Sources:
[1] http://www.liveinternet.ru/stat/vkontakte.ru/index.html?period=month;total=yesv

[2] http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/vk.com

[3] http://www.forbes.ru/ekonomika/kompanii/69666-kod-pavla-durova

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