What Is VK? – Things You Should Know About Russia’s Facebook

What Is VK - Things You Should Know About Russia's Facebook
What Is VK - Things You Should Know About Russia's Facebook

If you live in Russia, the Russian social media website VK is significantly more likely to come to mind than Facebook. But what exactly is VK? Let’s have a look.

Normally, we think of Facebook when we think of social media—after all, it’s related to almost everything in our life, from Uber rides to voice calls to money transfers. However, if you’re from Russia, you’re more likely to think of vk.com, also known as VKontakte. It’s one of the most popular Russian social networks, with users from all walks of life.

Things You Should Know About Russia’s Facebook

There isn’t much written about VK in the western world, so it’s a bit of a mystery to those who aren’t in on it. You’re about to hear a lot about VK if you’ve never heard of him before.

VK is Russia’s most popular social media platform.

VK actually has its nearest competition beat by roughly threefold in terms of monthly messages and postings exchanged between members, with Facebook ranking in fourth (behind VK and other popular social networking sites Odnoklassniki and Instagram).

VK is Russia’s third most-visited site, behind Google and YouTube, according to Alexa; the site’s daily mobile viewership averages around 45 million visitors each day.

2. VK is Favored by Younger Users

VK users are mostly between the ages of 25 and 34. Given that Facebook’s users are generally aged 35 and over, this is an intriguing population to target.

The following are some possible explanations for the disparity:

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  1. VK focuses on allowing friends to share audio and video files.
  2. The site’s proclivity for encouraging users to broaden their social circles rather than stick to the ones they already have.
  3. Odnoklassniki is a popular social media platform among older Russian adults.

3. In terms of profile creation, VK has a lot to offer.

Instead of developing an exceedingly specific profile of generic information about oneself, Facebook encourages users to populate their timelines with the latest on their lives.

This isn’t the case on VK; in fact, the site’s profile-creation feature is more detailed than anything we’ve ever seen on any social media site.

Creating a VK profile.

To give you an example, the sign-up procedure requires you to include your educational background in your profile. I anticipated to type in my university’s name and be done with it.

This website continued to offer me a list of my university’s individual schools and colleges; some of these were departments that I had never heard of before. Following that, it inquired about my major and even went so far as to ask which emphasis I had chosen for my degree.

This degree of attention to detail extends to practically every aspect of your profile. VK can connect me not just with individuals in my graduating class who live in my city, but also with those who participated in my program of study explicitly, by gathering data in this way.

4. VK Has a Difficult Political Past

VK, like Facebook, was founded by a young individual who had recently graduated from college. Before getting into legal difficulties in 2012, Pavel Durov had a lot of success.

Many anti-Russian activist groups used the network on a regular basis, both as regular users and as a way of advancing their interests. Durov refused to permanently ban these organizations and persons when asked.

Things became tricky, to say the least. In 2014, Durov was forced to give up his ownership in the company due to financial pressure. Everything was given to Alisher Usmanov, Russia’s richest man at the time.

5. Russian users consider VK to be superior to Facebook.

Most Russians prefer VK to Facebook, whether it’s due to a healthy sense of nationalism or simply a question of convenience. Please accept my apologies, Mark Zuckerberg.

It’s not only because VK is more widely utilized in Russia. VK users consider it to be the superior choice, according to a survey from Germany’s Henrich Heine University, with levels of suggested value twice as high as those declared in favour of other social media brands. Participants thought VK was more entertaining and fun, easier to use, and more trustworthy in general.

6. There Have Been Major Security Breach at VK

VK actually had a major security breach in June 2016, exposing the data of over 171 million members.

Names, email addresses, passwords, and other sensitive contact information were among the spoils, which were quickly sold on the dark web. VK is not the first nor the last to do so. It makes you think, though. Even on a massive website like this one, we should always be cautious about what we disclose online.

The attack stated above revealed that “123456” is the most often used password on VK. If you’re guilty of this, you should change your password right away.

Many of the stolen passwords were saved by VK in plaintext, allowing some forward-thinking researchers to calculate the figures following the massive leak. Over 700,000 users used the password “123456,” while another 400,000 used “123456789,” according to the researchers.

“qwerty,” “1111111,” and “123321” were also popular passwords.

8. VK’s Website Is Rarely Modified

In fact, you might think you were on Facebook a few years ago based on VK’s current website design.

The sense of waking up and entering onto a completely different website than the day before is all too familiar to Facebook users.

It’s a fantastic ethos to follow; VK makes things cosy and consistent, like an old blanket.

VK is a simplified and tranquil experience, far from the ones we’re used to, interrupted by the out-loud-and-proud stylings of TikTokers and Instagram influencers looking to create a name for themselves.

This service is a terrific method to connect with friends in Russia or Ukraine. Even if you don’t, the brand’s history provides an unsettling glance through the looking glass for westerners. We could have sworn we were staring at a Facebook splash page from 2014 when we first logged on.

Mark Funk
Mark Funk is an experienced information security specialist who works with enterprises to mature and improve their enterprise security programs. Previously, he worked as a security news reporter.