Yesterday, comScore released an Overview of European Internet Usage for December 2011.
The release, highlighting internet usage in 49 European markets and providing individual reporting on 18 of those markets, shows that the Russian internet audience continues to be Europe’s largest with more than 53.3 million unique visitors during the month. Back in September 2011, Russia overtook Germany as the European market with the highest number of unique visitors online, and the awakening giant has not looked back since. While the other 17 countries included in the reporting have either stayed the same or witnessed very modest growth, the number of Russian unique visitors has increased by more than 2.5 million. Especially rural Russia, making up about 27 percent of the overall population, is experiencing deep transformation and, according to Nielsen, “internet usage growth rates in rural households are almost twice as high as in urban homes.” Despite the vast window of opportunity from a business perspective, this rapidly emerging market has been heavily neglected by marketers so far, Nielsen further concludes.
When we are moving on to look at the highest engagement of European countries, the U.K. continues its lead with an average monthly user spend of 35.6 hours online during December. Not surprisingly, Facebook has the highest overall engagement for web sites at 93.3 billion minutes spent on the site in total. However, it is interesting that Facebook is second to Vkontakte in terms of highest average user engagement. Russia’s #1 social network, or what has been referred to as “a Facebook clone”, beats its American rival, with visitors spending an average of 7.9 hours on Vkontakte during the month.
Combining high user engagement and rapidly increasing internet penetration rates makes Russia one of the most attractive online markets in the world. The question remains: Are you taking full advantage of it?
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