Developers in Russia have launched the country’s own Instagram.
Rossgram is one of several alternative social media platforms offered in Russia. Other apps have also been imitated over the years, but none of them has gained the level of status or number of users that their original counterparts have.
Because there is no clear evidence of how much access the Russian government has to users’ data, people are scared to make use of apps like Rossgram.
Business Insider reports that since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine at the beginning of February, global social media companies including Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook have either blocked or restricted their services in the country, or have been banned outright.
Over the years, Russians have been limited as to how they get their news. It’s usually based on generational and economic divisions. Nowadays, younger Russians are more tech-savvy and inquisitive, so they prefer to work around restrictions associated with the likes of Rossgram and rather still use the original version.
RuTube is Russia’s version of the popular video platform YouTube. Although the government’s efforts to use it instead of YouTube haven’t been successful over the years, they’re still trying. They’re currently offering online creators around $1,700 per month to switch their content from YouTube to RuTube.
The founder of VKontakte, a social media platform similar to Facebook, was developed and owned by a Russian with no ties to the government. It was a very popular app until the owner suddenly announced that he had left the country and was then taken off the board of his own company. The Russian government soon took over.
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