MySpace sets sights on Russia

MySpace, the popular social networking site has announced plans to roll out a Russian language version to capitalise on the country’s fast-growing Internet advertising business.

Alexa currently ranks MySpace in 55th place in Russia but analysts say their competitive advantage lies in coming to a market with mainly weak players. According to Konstantine Belov, media analyst at UralSib, another factor in their favour would be their established brand and well-honed technology. Russia’s social networking market is currently dominated by Yandex owned, MoiKrug (“My Circle”) and Vkontakte.ru.

Vitaly Kupeyev, an analyst at AlfaBank, said that although the online advertising market being targetted by MySpace was a fast growing segment, it still only makes up 2% of the market. “A lot depends on MySpace’s marketing strategies”, Kupeyev said. “The projection for Internet advertising for 2012 is a mere 5% of the total ad market”,

However the local offerings are not struggling. Vkontakte.ru claims 2 million users and is now ranked the third most visited site in Runet. MoiKrug, which follows a similar style to the LinkedIn.com site, is ranked in 95th place according to Alexa.

Yandex editor Yelena Kolmanovskya welcomed MySpace’s plans to develop a Russian language version and said the site would not come into “direct competition with MoiKrug.”

Source: Moscow Times

Nick Wilsdon

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