Russians are moving away from social networks…. to YouTube!

Publication date: 26 Sep 2022

In the summer of 2022, Russians started spending less time on social networks but more time watching YouTube. According to a Mediascope survey (February-July 2022), 84% of the population, i.e., 103 million people above the age of 12, use the Internet daily.  The number of users is constantly growing: in the last 5 years by 18%, in the last year by 5%.

In August, the average time on the Internet was 3 hours and 41 minutes. Most of the time (about 6 hours) is spent by young people under 17 and people aged 25-54 – about 4 hours a day. Traditionally, mobile is in the lead with 1:35 the most time, people over 65 use the Internet “from computer”. 

What are Russians interested in on the Internet?

According to researchers, in August 2022, Russian users spent the most time on:

  • 20% (of all time spent online) on social networks;
  • 19% on watching videos;
  • 14% on messengers;
  • 10% on games;
  • 3% on marketplaces.

At the same time, experts specify that since March 2022 the interest of Russians in social networks is gradually decreasing.

  • Recall that the “migration” of the audience began after Meta Corporation was declared an extremist organization in Russia in the spring of 2022. Thereafter, its Facebook and Instagram services were blocked. Although access to these social networks was only maintained through VPNs, there was no punishment for using them. But in September, the first case was recorded in which the prosecutor’s office issued a warning to a blogger for advertising on Instagram. After all, according to the law, any financial interaction with an organization deemed extremist, as well as the recruitment of users to it, is “a form of participation in the activities of an extremist organization”.

Attention to platforms has redistributed: the audience of blocked resources has decreased significantly, Odnoklassniki’s reach is almost unchanged, while Telegram and VKontakte have seen the biggest increase in audience.

The top 10 in terms of traffic at the end of August 2022 were:

  1.     WhatsApp with 72.6 million people per day;
  2.     Yandex with 63.9 million
  3.     Google with 57.1 million;
  4.     VKontakte with 50.6 million;
  5.     YouTube with 48.0 million;
  6.     Telegram with 42.1 million;
  7.     Sberbank with 39.8 million;
  8.     TikTok with 30 million
  9. with 21.9 million;
  10.   Odnoklassniki with 20 million.

Compared to last year (August 2021), Instagram’s position has changed significantly – previously it was in 6th place in terms of traffic. YouTube’s audience has also increased, with nearly 7 million daily users. The daily video consumption time on YouTube is growing, averaging 88 minutes. In addition to the above-mentioned blocking of some social networks, experts attribute this growth in attendance to a change in Russians’ interests. Since spring 2022, there has been a trend of replacing news content with entertainment content: people are looking for information outside of politics, as well as old movies and world premieres.

How to promote betting and gambling on Youtube?

Meanwhile, Youtube itself is doing its best to offer new ways to promote betting and gambling.  In September, the advertising requirements changed: now sports betting-related advertisements are allowed on the homepage. The brand, product or service can be featured on a Masthead banner in native format in the YouTube homepage feed on any device. It is essential to comply with the platform’s policies: in particular, to comply with local gambling laws.


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