Expert explained the high popularity of the Russian social networks among children

Expert explained the high popularity of the Russian social networks among children

Russian services are increasingly in demand among children, as evidenced by the presence of the social network VKontakte and the popularity of such services as VK Music or Yandex Music, IT expert Vadim Glushchenko told the newspaper VZGLYAD. A Mediascope study revealed that children consider Instagram (which is banned in Russia), Netflix and Marvel outdated.

"We see that Russian services are increasingly in demand among children, according to the results of the Mediascope study. Today, their preference is for VKontakte (41%) rather than, for example, Instagram (13%). This is understandable - not every country can boast of having its own social network with such a wide range of features and functions. And our national social network is not inferior to Western products. At the same time, of course, the content on Russian resources is more secure," says Vadim Glushchenko, Director of the Center for Global IT-Cooperation.

The active use of domestic online music services is indicative: 52% of teenagers aged 12-17 use "VK Music", and in general two-thirds of children aged 4-11 listen to "VK Music" or "Yandex Music", says the interlocutor.

According to him, Russian children and teenagers are active users of the video hosting service YouTube, which is "familiar and convenient". "79% of underage Russians between the ages of four and 17 are watching this video hosting site. At the same time, given the questionable moderation on YouTube and the unwillingness of the platform's administration to adequately respond to complaints from Russian users and comply with the laws of our country, we cannot help but be concerned about what information the algorithms developed in the West will "slip" to our children. Especially in light of the amount of destructive content in circulation on the Internet. In this sense, a lot depends on the parents and the degree of trust they have in their relationship with their children," Glushchenko points out.

He said the younger generation should be aware of the risks the World Wide Web poses. Glushchenko urged "patient explanation of the basic rules of digital hygiene, use of parental control tools". "Even the youngest users need to understand that their personal information needs to be protected," he added.

Earlier, RBC published the results of a study conducted by Mediascope, a unified Internet Audience Meter, on the media consumed by children aged 12 and younger. Schoolchildren consider Instagram, the Marvel universe and the Netflix online movie theater to be bygone trends. More than 80 percent of children over the age of four use the Internet on a daily basis. This is the first time that Mediascope has conducted such a study, which is part of its regular measurement of the Internet audience over the age of 12. 

The study notes that 87% of children between the ages of four and five already use the Internet, and 53% of them do so on a daily basis. At the same time, in May 2023, the average daily time of Internet use among all young people aged 12-17 in cities with over 100 thousand inhabitants was 380 minutes, of which 359 minutes - via smartphone. 37% of children aged four to eight have paid for content on the web at least once (by themselves or with their parents' help), among 12–17-year-olds the figure rises to 62%. 60% of 12–17-year-olds use a VPN on their own or family devices. Among four- to five-year-olds, this figure rises to 11 per cent. 

The most popular social network among kids and teens was TikTok (43%), followed by VKontakte (41%), and Instagram (13%) rounded out the top three with a significant margin of error. Likee, a service that is more popular among girls (15% vs. 7% for boys) and children aged 9-11 (19% vs. 7% for Instagram in this age group, for example), was also among the popular services.

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