RuTube and Rossgram: Russia's New Internet

Published April 11th, 2022 - 07:19 GMT
RuTube and Rossgram
Russia has banned most western social media platforms amid the war in Ukraine.

Under its "extremism" laws, Russia has recently been able to ban some of the most popular social media networks, namely Facebook, Instagram, and others.

The Russian war in Ukraine has had its toll on the virtual world too, forcing major changes to internet access, especially in Russia, the country that is waging the war in neighboring Ukraine for over six weeks.

In its effort to curb the spread of pro-Ukraine narratives online and replace it with the Russian ones instead, Russia has banned access to Meta platforms, after announcing it as an "extremist" platform. But to make it up to its people, the country is now introducing new online networks that have been perceived as largely imitating the western ones.

Even though WhatsApp, the leading app in terms of popularity remained operating across Russia, Instagram's popularity has been compensated by the emerging Rossgram, one that is meant to replace Instagram.

Similarly, Russia has been trying to promote its V Kontakte also known as VK, even though it has been trying to replace Facebook since 2006.

RuTube is another old Russian app for video sharing, launched first in 2006. RuTube is expected to witness more growth, particularly if Russian authorities decide to ban it in the country too. 

Online people from around the world have been checking out the new Russian alternatives, pointing out the striking similarity between their interface and their western counterparts, casting doubts that the new Russian alternatives can make up for the Meta ban, especially since it lacks the global element. 

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