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All posts tagged "Russia"

  • 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...

  • Russian parliament approves controversial web censorship bill

    The Russian parliament has approved a bill which will allow the government to shut down websites hosting content they deemed "harmful." If signed into law, it will see the creation of a system to monitor and blacklist websites. An amendment to Russia's Act for Information, bill 89417-6 was put forth by a committee concerned with internet security. They say it was designed to allow the government to remove pornography, suicide advice and content which encourages drug use, but it has drawn criticism from activists who oppose online censorship. Wikipedia shut down the Russian version of its site earlier this...

  • Russia’s largest social network delays IPO following Facebook jitters

    The circus around Facebook's juddery IPO has rolled into Moscow. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Russia's largest social network Vkontakte has postponed its IPO as a result of Facebook's less-than-brilliant market debut. The social network's founder and CEO Pavel Durov reportedly tweeted “The Facebook IPO damaged many private investors’ trust in social networks, and the IPO has been postponed indefinitely”. Durov is thought to own about 12% of...

  • Russian satellite shows off Earth’s beauty in highest res ever

    Wow. Just wow. There's nothing quite like a view of our humble little planet taken from space to give you a sense of perspective. You can't get much clearer perspective than this stunning 121 Megapixel shot of the Earth taken by a Russian weather satellite. The image, which is the clearest shot of the planet to date, was taken with a single shot, unlike NASA's updated 'Blue Marble' image which is a...

  • 4 reasons big-time VCs are investing in emerging markets

    With technological advancements in developing nations speeding the growth rate of high impact tech start-ups, many American venture capital firms are now looking further afield to expand their investment portfolios. But what is driving this trend? 1. Lack of local funding There’s certainly no shortage of innovative ideas coming out of emerging market countries. Africa, China, Russia and many others are growing steadily, and are producing an ever-increasing number of tech success stories, many with an extensive global reach. However, the potential for innovation in these countries has been historically hampered by a lack of access to funding, based on an entrenched...

  • Meet 50 of the most influential political tweeters in emerging markets

    Social media in emerging markets is poised in a delicate position. A number of governments are trying to clampdown on various platforms, all while they’re experiencing phenomenal growth. Given this situation, it’s worthwhile seeing who the most influential political tweeters in some of the biggest emerging market countries are. It is they, after all, who drive debate and help form the national political opinion. Using research from PR and communications firm Burson-Masteller and social influence measuring tool Klout, we can get some idea. It should be noted that there are members of the web community who aren't exactly what you’d call...