In October, the number of authors in Russian social media increased only on Telegram and YouTube, as calculated by Brand Analytics. For YouTube, this happened for the first time since 2021. The trend, experts believe, is due to the intensification of authors after the outbreak of the war between Israel and Palestine. Platforms have begun to increasingly take on the functions of news media.
“Kommersant” got acquainted with Brand Analytics’ research on the active audience (authors) of social media (social networks, blogs, forums, public messenger channels, etc.) in Russia in October. According to analysts, Telegram and YouTube were the only platforms whose number of authors (users who posted at least one public message) increased in annual terms. The number of YouTube creators has increased for the first time since October 2021, according to Brand Analytics.
The study was conducted based on the collection and indexing of all public messages on social networks in Russian, Tatar, Ukrainian, Kazakh and other languages, as well as data from their authors. To isolate data by country for each social network, the percentage of geodetermination was taken into account (the number of messages that have geographic data divided by the percentage of messages with geodata). Similar calculations were carried out for the authors.
Thus, Telegram’s year-on-year growth was 33% and reached 14 million authors (with a general decrease in the growth rate of the platform). Information on Russian-language Telegram is presented without reference to geography. “40% of activity in the messenger belongs to bots,” Telegram clarified. The number of YouTube creators increased by 18%, to 7.1 million. The platform’s content volume and creator activity also increased by 22% (to 29.5 million posts) and 4%, respectively.
Over the same period, VKontakte decreased both the number of authors (by 8%, to 25.6 million) and the volume of content (by 12%, from 472.5 million messages to 414.2 million). Brand Analytics clarified that the social network still remains the leader, and the decline is due to a “rebound after noticeable growth in previous periods.”
The representative of VKontakte emphasized that the number of authors of the social network in the last few months “is in a record range for Russia” of 24–28 million, which is “83% more than that of Telegram, and 3.6 times more than on YouTube.” .
The growth in the number of creators on YouTube is primarily associated with the development of the YouTube Shorts format, which does not require significant investments in video production, believes Yulia Dolgova, head of the influencer marketing agency LabelUp. It allows you to get into recommendations and gain a good base of new subscribers through internal promotion by the platform, she notes.
One should also take into account the factor of the outflow of authors from Facebook and Instagram (owned by Meta, recognized as extremist and banned in Russia), who also learned to work with YouTube, adds Nikoliers regional director of public relations Marat Muradyan.
One of the reasons for the rapid growth in the number of authors on YouTube could be the start of Israel’s war with Palestine, believes Evgeniy Boltovsky, head of strategic research at IVK Media Solutions: “Unlike VKontakte, YouTube and Telegram are news media for a wide audience. Therefore, it is they who are primarily affected by resonant events.” In 2024, the founder of the advertising agency Digital Church, Mark Khludnev, believes that the growth of content production on the site may increase by another 30–40%.