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All posts tagged "Russia"

  • Mail.ru abandons Google, goes it alone with search engine

    Russian internet giant Mail.ru has announced that it's officially dropping Google and will now handle all search queries made by Search Mail.Ru users. The search engine is the third largest in Russia and lays claim to some 39.5-million monthly users worldwide, per comScore figures. Mail.ru says that it's been working on the search engine for the past few years, during which the search engine development team expanded from 15 to 200 professionals. Over the last six months, it says, "index volume has grown from 5 to 10 billion documents, and a few thousands of servers have been dedicated to query...

  • What on-demand TV needs to work in emerging markets

    Of the hundreds of channels from your cable or satellite provider, how many do you actually watch? I watch 21. On an exam, that would be a definitive fail. Variety is used to mask overpricing, and we the consumers are none the wiser. In a world where most things are DIY, why is it that television is stuck in the past? It’s the equivalent of being sold an expensive bag of stones and told there is a piece of silver somewhere in there. Why can’t you just get the silver? What’s on demand TV? On demand TV allows pay TV packages to...

  • Yandex’s new idea for search: take action from the results page

    Russian search giant Yandex might not be all that well-known in the West, but unlike many emerging market clones, it's capable of more than just copying Google. The latest innovation from Yandex is a feature that allows you to search entries on the results page. As TechCrunch Europe editor Mike Butcher notes, this means you could, for instance, see live prices and availability when you search hotel rooms. The new feature is rolling in out in Turkey, where Yandex has an on-the-ground operation, before it expands to the Russian market. Yandex completely dominates the Russian search market, with over...

  • Russia’s Yandex on the up and up: 42% profit increase in 2012

    Things are looking good for Russian search and internet services giant Yandex. The company, which controls around 60% of Russia's search market, posted some seriously solid financial results for 2012. Revenues for the year were US$947.1-million, up 44% year-on-year while profits were up 42% to US$270.7-million for the year. While that's not quite not quite as impressive as the growth it showed from 2010 to 2011, its worth bearing in mind that Yandex spent a lot of time in 2012 expanding into other markets and launching a host of new products. This year meanwhile, the company launched the...

  • Russia emerges as mobile ad powerhouse as Android keeps growing

    The latest State of Mobile Advertising report from Norwegian web browser maker Opera shows a couple of interesting trends, including the emergence of Russia as a mobile advertising power and the increasing importance of Android as a mobile advertising platform. The report, which is based on data from the Opera Mediaworks mobile ad platform during the last quarter of 2012, shows that mobile is accelerating as an advertising force. The fourth quarter of 2012, it says, represented more than a two-times increase in impressions and revenue to publishers compared to any other quarter in 2012. Of particular interest...

  • Defying Facebook: which emerging market social networks will stand tall?

    Social networking stalwart Facebook claims one-billion users. That’s around a seventh of the population of the planet. Sometimes it’s easy to believe the internet is comprised solely of Google, Wikipedia and Facebook. But what about more regional social networks, mobile social networks and specifically those with a strong foothold in emerging markets? How do they stack up against the behemoth that is Facebook? According to Italian social media strategist Vincenzo Cosenza although Facebook’s star is still ascending around the world, there are pockets of the globe where the social networking giant does not claim number one position. Cosenza’s been tracking these...

  • Thirsty? Feeling malevolent toward pigs? Grab an Angry Birds soda

    If you live in Russia, Australia, New Zealand and Spain, then you can now quench your thirst with a can of Angry Birds soda. The beverage, already a smash hit in Rovio's native Finland, is also set to launch in the UK over the next few months. According to The Next Web, Rovio's Mighty Eagle Peter Vasterback had confirmed that the beverage would be made available in four new markets during the BlackBerry 10 announcement. "Right now, we are looking at the UK, so that should happen over the next few months. We want to find the right partners...

  • SA broadband doubles in two years as mobile data costs plummet

    In any emerging market country, getting people online is vital. Studies by the likes of Ericsson have concluded that for every 10 percentage point increase in broadband penetration GDP increases by one percent. That's why news that broadband access in South African has more than doubled in the past two years should give hope to people in that country. According to a new report from tech research company World Wide Worx, access to broadband has accelerated on the back of falling mobile data costs and accelerated network roll out. The report shows that the number of broadband subscriptions grew from...

  • Emerging markets, ecommerce give Naspers big revenue boost

    Emerging markets internet and media giant Naspers has announced revenues of R23-billion (US$2.6-billion) for the six months leading up to 30 September. That represents a 22% increase over the previous six month period and is in no small part down the company's ecommerce and emerging markets online investments. In fact, the internet sector is where it has seen the fastest growth. Ecommerce has seen the biggest gains, growing 61% to R4-billion. Of that growth 27% was organic. Naspers does however note that its focus on "building scale and expanding ecommerce platforms across the value chain" has trimmed trading profits...

  • Russia’s Mail.ru to end its search partnership with Google come 2013

    It seems that Russian internet group Mail.ru plans to go it alone in the new year. Its front page search is currently partially powered by Google, but sources have confirmed to Russian site Izvestia that the service will not be renewing its contract with the search giant in February 2013. Mail.ru, which has been planning a global launch as My.com, is currently powering the search box on its home page partially with its own algorithm, and partly with the help of Google (for larger international searches). However, it seems that Mail.ru is ready to strike out on its own --...

  • Opera launches streaming music service in Russia

    Norwegian software outfit Opera has announced the launch of a streaming music service in Russia -- one of the markets where its mobile browser performs best. The idea behind the product, called Unlimited Music, is to “make music files available in a simple and affordable way for Russians, no matter if they are on a feature phone or a smartphone,” the company told The Next Web. While the service is available on the...

  • Russia’s Mail.ru set to go global with My.com

    When it comes to online names in Russia, you don't get much bigger than Mail.ru. Now the company is looking to expand its global presence with My.com Given that it already owns 90% of Russia's internet, it's pretty much a matter of necessity that the internet giant continue adding to its international properties, if it's to keep growing as a company. It's unclear precisely what My.com is. At the moment there's only a holding page with the option to sign up using your email address and the tagline "Something new. Something interesting. Something yours." There's no indication as to...

  • So much for mobile in emerging markets? InMobi pulls out of Africa, Russia

    Multi-national mobile ad network InMobi is set to close up its operations in Africa and Russia. The San Francisco headquartered company claims to be the world's largest independent mobile ad network, with operations on five continents, with offices in Bangalore, Johannesburg, London, Nairobi, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo. In a statement, InMobi admitted that it would be closing the offices, but said that it would continue servicing the affected markets: Like all successful and growing businesses, we routinely review our business to determine how to optimally serve our customers. We are changing the...

  • Russia’s Yandex joins the browser wars

    Yandex owns the Russian search market and now it's looking to stake a claim in the browser wars. The company today announced the launch of its own browser, simply called Yandex browser. "Cloud-based browsing is a next-generation answer to the challenges of the modern internet," said Arkady Volozh, CEO of Yandex. "To make the internet experience faster, easier and safer for everyone, we have built a cloud-based browser that integrates the best...

  • Religious hardliners request Russian Facebook ban

    Things are not looking good for online freedom in Russia. First the country's parliament approved a controversial web censorship bill and now religious hardliners want to ban Facebook. According to Russia Today, activists from the Orthodox Church are angry at the social network's decision to launch same-sex marriage icons, calling them "gay propaganda”. The activists apparently believe that the icons could make young people tempted to explore homosexuality. In fact, the church...