Instagram is now banned from Russia, and Kremlin’s decision seems to have hurt both Instagram and the people of Russia. While the Instagram Russia ban is likely to stay, for now, we explore what damage it has done to both sides.
If you think about it, there are Russian Instagram alternatives that are already popular in the country. However, Instagram has over 80 million users in the country, so it is no small platform either. With that said, let’s dive into what the Instagram Russia ban means for everyone.
Russia’s Instagram Ban Cuts Off Russians
Right off the bat, Kremlin’s call to ban Instagram cuts off 80 million Russians from within the country, and from the world. Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram tweeted: “~80% of people in Russia follow an Instagram account outside their country.”
Statista data shows the highest number of Instagram users in Russia is aged between 25 and 34 years. This is roughly 34% of the entire population. These users also include influencers who made millions off of the platform just last year.
To give you an idea, Russian journalist and public figure Xenia Sobchak earned $1.48 million from Instagram between May 2019 and April 2020. He’s closely followed by Polina Gagarina who earned $0.89 million. Instagram is also the second most used platform in Russia, by monthly publications.
According to Statista, Instagram enjoys 273.5 hundred million monthly publications in the country. However, the new ban also means all of this engagement will either drop or shift to homegrown alternatives.
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What Did Instagram Lose?
There are no winners in a war, and that’s exactly what seems to be happening with Russia’s Instagram ban. While Russians have lost connectivity and their Instagram accounts, the social media platform has lost users. An entire country is no longer using Instagram, which is a big deal for the social media giant.
Another area where Instagram has suffered big losses is Russia’s ban on Facebook as the platform allowed violent speech against Putin. Both platforms share users, content, and data. So in that sense, both Instagram and its parent company Meta (formerly Facebook) lost big business because of the ban.
One App’s Misery…
Instagram’s misery is Vkontakte’s shot at fame. While Vkontakte is already the most popular social media platform in Russia, it stands to gain more from this ban. Russian users moving from Facebook and Instagram are most likely to turn to this European alternative.
Ironically, Ukraine banned Vkontakte in 2017 after Russia annexed Crimea, which means Ukrainians don’t have access to Russia’s latest and most popular platform.
Russia has now banned several social media platforms and even legalized piracy. The rest of the world is also scrambling to aid Ukraine and sanction Russia for the war, which is now in its third week. As we see the spiral of violence bridging past to present and bleeding into the future, we hope peace comes soon.