Two cents blog

Dumping social media at Sochi?

by Paul Cornwell on 29 January 2014

Last week I posted a blog about the crowd-sourced Jamaican bobsled team who will be competing at the Winter Olympics at Sochi next month.

This also got me thinking about what other online shifts might a massive event like the Winter Olympics prompt?

The first port of call is probably social media.

You may think that all the social media you’ll need to follow to keep up with the action at the Sochi games is Facebook and Twitter.

Well, if you’re in Australia or the U.S or most of the western world then of course you’d conclude this. Facebook particularly is the dominant social media platform. Twitter is huge too.

But not so in Russia.

These two platforms aren’t the key social media platforms in Russia.  But, one that you’ve probably never heard of is.

It’s called  (it used to be called Vkontakte which apparently means ‘in touch’ or ‘in contact’ in Russian)


VK led social media in Russia with 49.2 million unique visits, followed by Odnoklassniki with 37.8 million and Facebook was a distant 5th place with only 11.9 million.

VK says it has 230 million registered accounts and 55 million average daily users.

So, many marketers will be watching VK throughout the Winter Olympics.

And many punters around the world may turn to VK for more a more local, more on-the-spot social feed on the Olympics

Maybe a whole bunch of people will be introduced to a ‘new Facebook’ via the Winter Olympics?

It will be interesting to watch VK and compare it to the social channels we’re more used to.

I’ve already signed up to VK.  Maybe you should too?

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Paul Cornwell is a Managing Director at BCM

- Giulianna Stead on January 30

I’m intrigued! I don’t think I’ll dump Facebook but I have signed up with VK. I had to laugh when I saw there is an option to sign up through Facebook when setting up my VK account.

- Jo Stone on January 29

Great post Paul. It reminded me how parochial we are in the West. After all in China it is Baidu not Google. Thanks to your post I've just signed up to VK which I'm embarrassed to say I'd never heard of. I'll be interested to follow the Olympic coverage on it!

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