Bashkirova & Partners » Blog » Opinion Polls » Social Media In Russia Not Much Connected To Policies

Social Media In Russia Not Much Connected To Policies

Social media has been a convenient and popular communication channel and a common way of spending leisure hours for long period. Social networking is known to be widely used for protests and rallies coordination and as a source of independent (from government and main media) information in states with unstable political regimes. Which social networks are most popular in Russia and how intense are the within political debates? These questions will be answered in another survey, conducted by Bashkirova and partners independent research agency.

 

The homeland based ‘Odnoklassniki’ (with 40% of respondents registered with the social media) and ‘Vkontakte’ (with 33% accordingly) appear to be the most popular social network sites in Russia. Standing considerably behind these two, is Facebook (just 15%) and taking the third place. It’s worth paying attention to that 10% of the Russian social media users have signed in ‘Google+’ which has recently appeared to have blogs. Once popular ‘Livejournal’, despite some increase in number of audience, is currently losing its positions. It now occupies the last line in this rating. 5,5% of respondents were still registered with Livejournal in February 2013 (a half percent more than in February 2014). We should also note, that our data show that share of Twitter audience has grown by 2% over the year, while those for ‘Facebook’, ‘Google+’, ‘Vkontakte’ and ‘Odnoklassniki’ remain unchanged. According to TNS data, the average monthly size of «Livejournal» audience is still growing and between 2011 and 2013 has increased in number from 13 million up to 16 million visitors. However only 1% of its total membership are actively using it (i.e. users who post messages and comments (accordingly, 11% do so in “VKontakte” and 37% for «Twitter»)). According to Brand Analytics statistics, in February 2014 ‘Vkontakte’ was counting 17 890 000 unique authors, while we could see just 203 000 of such for ‘Livejournal’.

 

Since most of users are registered with several social media at the same time, it’s important to find out which social media they use most often.  Those registered with Vkonakte are found to be most active. Odnoklassniki and Facebook users are a little bit less active. Livejournal bloggers are the least active users.

 

Respondents, discussing actively political developments make up an absolute minority (only 13%). The most of the interviewed speak about policies seldom (we have just a little more than a half of these) or never touch on this area (38%).

These are «Google+» users who discuss policies issues most frequently with friends or next of kin, but once again these make minority (just 12%). Politically active people make maximum 6-8% amongst other social media users.  We could state with confidence that the majority is using social networking to entertain themselves or socialize with friends. The assumption about social media as some extremely politicized (cyber)space and even some opposition ground is very much exaggerated.

 

54% of Twitter users and 53% of «Google+» audience believe this country is proceeding in the right direction. A bit more than a half of ‘Odnoklassniki’ and ‘Vkontakte’ users are not happy with the heading of the developments in Russia. The number of ‘happy’ and ‘unhappy’, 3% error considered, is about to be equal, and this again conflicts with the thesis about opposition of the most of online audience. 

Relatively young and wealthy people are using social media in Russia. There are very few people 55 of age and older who use social networks. We can see as twice as less of such in the age category of 40-45 year olds, than in that of 25-39 y.o. (‘Odnoklassniki’ makes an exception, where we have equal halves of both categories of respondents). The younger audience takes less interest in policies. These also look at their future with greater optimism.

 

 

The study was conducted in February 2014 based on all-Russia random route sample (18+) using face-to-face interviews in place of residence. Altogether 1000 respondents in 8 federal districts, 100 settlements, 200 sample points have been surveyed. The sample error makes up 3,1%.





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