SOCIAL NETWORKS IN THE ARMENIAN SEGMENT OF THE INTERNET
The Armenian social networks has recently had greater impact on the formation of the information fields on the Internet and not only. Alongside with the growth of the number of the social network users in the republic the influence of the social networks also increases. Non-Armenian social networks – Odnoklassniki.ru, Facebook.com – prevail in Armenia. At the same time there are some Armenian social networks which take though smaller but certain part in the Armenian segment of the web.
The traffic of the biggest social networks
There is no distinct assessment of the social networks’ traffic in Armenia, as there is no common adequate, open statistic system which would follow the traffic of the main sites. Due to this a comparative analysis of the data which differ from each other by the computing method has to be carried out.
According to the statistics of Alexa.com which conducts global monitoring of web-sites’ traffic, the first place in Armenia among the social network is taken by Facebook.com1. It is followed by Youtube which also possesses some elements of a social network. Then Odnoklassniki.ru comes. At the same time the specificity of the traffic assessment by Alexa.com, i.e. installing of a special programme which calculates the traffic, brings to the situation when the statistics of those who has a definite degree of computer literacy is counted.
At the same time rather big group of users visit only a small number of web-sites and they are rather active members of the social networks but they do not have the appropriate knowledge of using a computer (in this connection the indices of Alexa.com are incorrect for the segment with the weak knowledge of computer). Besides the growth of a total number of the users is accompanied by an eager expansion of the mobile operators which provide cheap wireless internet. As a result the number of the users from the regions of Armenia grows. And the main grounds for this new segment of users are the social networks and the VoIP clients the most popular of which is Skype (see Pic. 1).
Pic. 1 Alexa.com statistics for Armenia
At the same time, judging by the data of Liveinternet.ru rating system, the most popular social network in Armenia still remains Odnoklassniki.ru2. The daily traffic from Armenia is more than 500 thousand (see Pic. 2).
Pic. 2 Liveinternet.ru statistics by the geography of Odnoklassniki.ru
The monthly traffic also exceeds half a million visitors. Besides, a surge can be observed over the recent six months – rocketing by about 40%. And the similar rise can be observed in other post-Soviet countries either – e.g. in Georgia and Moldova (see Pic. 3).
Pic. 3 Liveinternet.ru statistics of the growth of the number ofOdnoklassnik.ru users from Armenia, Georgia and Moldova
The number of Facebook users is also dynamically rising. For the recent 6 months the growth rate has been 87%. But, judging by the official statistics, the absolute growth of the number of the registered users anyway falls behind essentially from the one observed in the dynamics of the Odnoklassniki.ru audience; according to the data for the beginning of April there are 150 thousand users from Armenia registered in Facebook3.
Let us also mention the biggest Russian social network – Vkontakte.ru. In Armenia it is not so popular but according to the official statistics by the beginning of April 2011 there are 235 thousand registered visitors from Armenia (this, however, does not speak about availability of such a number of active users) 4.
Local social networks
The availability of many small and medium social networks, the target audience of which is the Armenians from Armenia and Diaspora, is a specificity of the Armenian internet. Those social networks are positioned as exclusively Armenian.
The most visited Armenian social network is Hayland.am. According to the official data of the portal’s administration there are more than 120 thousand registered users. According to the statistics by Circle.am the daily traffic of the portal in March 2011 was about 11 thousand, the 46% of the traffic is from the territory of Armenia.
Another social network is Druzja.am – the traffic is about 5 thousand, according to statistics by Circle.am, the 82% of which comes from Armenia. Another portal is Hayutyun.am which, according to Alexa.com, has about 1thousand visitors per day.
Besides, there are a number of portals which combine the functions of forum and dating site but position themselves as social networks. Among such sites is Armenia-Online.ru (about 10 thousand visitors per day according to the statistics of Circle.am, the 20% of which are from the territory of Armenia). Viparmenia.com is also positioned as social network (about 3 thousand visits daily, according to the statistics of Circle.am, 16% of which are the visits from the territory of Armenia).
Generally a tendency of appearance of exclusively Armenian social networks, as well as the shift of the forum sites to more advanced platforms with the purpose to socialize the available users’ base is observed. It should also be mentioned that the competition with global giants essentially reduces the possibilities of local social portals. Today only Hayland.am can be considered more or less successful project. The specific weight of other sites in the Armenian segment of the Internet is too small and most of them stay up either at the expense of providing the dating service or by preserving the available users.
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