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VKontakte of VKontakte

Company

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The largest Russian social network.

Owners:
Mail.ru Group - 100%
Economic shares of shareholders match voting. Earlier it was reported that the owner of VKontakte - Doraview Limited (the company is registered on the British Virgin Islands).

Content


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Owners

History

2020: Increase in the promotional budget of small and medium business twice

On March 26, 2020 Mail.ru Group announced selection of one billion rubles on support of medium and small business. VKontakte will double the promotional budget of small and medium business: in mobile advertizing offices. Read more here.

2019

Seamless integration of a musical ecosystem of VKontakte with Combo service

On December 25, 2019 the Mail.ru Group company reported that the service of a subscription Combo expanded the list of offers within the existing packet at the expense of musical content. Users of Combo will get access to music of VKontakte and in the BOOM application without advertizing, with a possibility of listening offline and also in the background. Read more here.

The plan to create "superapplication" based on VKontakte

As reported RBC on October 25, 2019, in the closest years of Mail.Ru Group she intends to start superapplications which should satisfy basic needs of the user. Such business model is already developed by the Chinese companies and try to apply in the USA and Russia.

VKontakte

Mail.Ru Group intends to develop own superappa (Super App, the superapplication).

«
We consider that VKontakte have all perspectives to become superappy. Development of superapp based on our ecosystem, payment systems and other connected products will be the biggest priority for the next three years, said in the message of Mail.Ru Group which came to RBC.

»

Superapp is the application which combines a set of functions and allows the person to satisfy different requirements on one screen: in communication, entertaining financial, business. The first similar services appeared in China, it is developed IT- holding Tencent messenger WeChat and service AliPay from Alibaba Group. These applications integrate in themselves, for example, functions:

According to information on the website Alipay, 1 billion users are connected to a system for October, 2019. At WeChat, according to data of Statista service, more than 1.1 billion active users a month.

The companies try to repeat success of the Chinese superapplications worldwide. For example, in Indonesia the Gojek application through which it is possible to buy goods works, to call the taxi, to watch video, to make money transfers — to receive only about 20 services. The American Uber Technologies also tries to position itself as something bigger, than the application for the order of the taxi. In some countries the company has delivery services of food, lease of bicycles, job search.

«
We want that Uber was the operating system for your everyday life,
told the chief executive Dara Hosrovshakhi
»

The founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg also declared plans to turn the social network in superapp.

According to the head of the platform for VKontakte developers Anton Tsivarev, for October, 2019 via Vkontakte application it is possible to call the taxi and delivery of food, to look at a weather forecast, to purchase clothes or air tickets, to find work.

«
Actually VKontakte is superapp when we close many requirements in one product at once, we connect business and users on one platform — he explained.
»

In February the social network began integration with the platform of online trade of AliExpress. Users of social network got access to the range of a marketplace and an opportunity to make purchases, without leaving the application using service of online payment VK Pay. Then the source of RBC close to Mail.Ru Group said that VKontakte creates a uniform ecosystem which will allow the user to make all necessary actions, without leaving the account, and will increase time which the audience spends in[1].

Start of model of payment of the advertizing oCPM

On October 15, 2019 VKontakte reported that he starts advertizing payment model — oCPM (the optimized payment for demonstrations). It will be suitable for all businesses which collect requests, and will allow to spend an advertizing budget more effectively. It is enough to enter the desirable cost of a lead — the algorithm will show the declaration to users who with the largest probability will fill out the questionnaire, and at the same time will keep within the specified request price.

The oCPM model is available in the Collecting of Requests format. Unlike model of payment for one thousand demonstrations (CPM), it optimizes demonstrations of declarations under the advertiser's purpose — to receive the application within the selected cost.

Thanks to oCPM entrepreneurs can spend an advertizing budget more economically. For example, within the experiment representatives of real estate field placed declarations on the oCPM model — and the cost of the request fell on average by 40% in comparison with other models of payment.

Setup of the price and arrangement
«
the OSRM Model will be useful to all businesses which generate leads. For example, it can be used to collect contacts of potential buyers of apartments, to write on test drives, master classes or trial occupations, to register at a conference, to make out the preorder of new products, to offer discounts for visit of restaurant or cafe. It is important to adhere to the correct procurement strategy of advertizing. Many at first specify a small desirable rate, and then increase it. We recommend to do on the contrary: on start to set the maximum allowed cost of the request — and to lower it when the algorithm studies. So it will be able to save up more data for advertizing demonstration optimization,

»

Start of collecting of audiences of a retargeting through QR codes

On October 1, 2019 VKontakte announced start of collecting of audiences of a retargeting through QR codes.

Updating will help business to continue communication with clients online.

VKontakte can show advertizing now to users who scanned the QR code. To configure such retargeting, the special QR code is required — it can be created only in an advertizing office of VK.

It will help business to continue communication with visitors of actions or sales points and also to understand how specific offline - platforms are suitable for the advertizing purposes. At the same time advertisers see only the number of people who scanned the QR code — all information on users is depersonalized.

«
Earlier, to continue interaction with the visitor in social networks, it was necessary to ask it to subscribe for community. As a result clients were just lost — the name or the link had to be typed manually. QR codes gave the chance to pass to the page quicker and more conveniently. The innovation gives to business the second chance: if the visitor did not become interested in the page at once, it is possible to try to pay his attention to himself again — to offer a discount, to show a collection, to ask to leave a comment,
told Aleksandra Cherkas, the evangelist of VKontakte for business
»

VKontakte started collecting of audiences of a retargeting through QR codes

Interactive advertizing in a news feed

On September 30, 2019 the VKontakte company reported that it started the updated promotion format on mobile devices — interactive advertizing in a news feed. These are advertizing records based on HTML5 which allow the companies to realize the most daring creative ideas and also to send users to community, correspondence with the chat-bot, to other page in VK or to the external website.

Interactive advertizing in a news feed

According to the company, the non-standard declaration increases memorability of a brand and also the involvement and loyalty of audience. It is shown by results of the first advertizing campaign of the updated format which VK waged with Delivery Club. On a game plot the user as the courier overcomes obstacles to deliver food as soon as possible. Everyone who performs a task receives a unique set of stickers and a discount promo code from the chat-bot of community.

According to the statistics for September, 2019, users 3 times more often click the declaration, than on average in promoposta. Players spend in a mini-application on average 97 seconds - it is many times more normal contact with video advertizing.

«
It is harder and harder to brands to fight for attention of audience, especially mobile. Advertizing with game mechanics in a news feed — the most visited section of mobile application is an optimal variant. It increases brand recognition and selects the declaration not only among proposals of competitors, but also among records of normal users.

Tatyana Kashchenko, the head of customer service of VKontakte told
»

«
Couriers became characters of city life and heroes whom we face every day. Appear on site the employee of the delivery service in playful way is a useful experience for the user, an unusual situation which draws attention and causes positive emotions. Already during advertizing testing we noted very high interest in a game format, growth of number of subscribers in our community VKontakte and increase in number of orders — using a discount promo code.

Oleg Haustov, the marketing director of Delivery Club told
»

Start of the updated statistics of communities

On July 24, 2019 the social network VKontakte announced start of the updated statistics of communities and added performance indicators — number of new dialogs, cliques by the phone number and opening of applications of community. Besides, now it is possible to look at the number of transitions to the website of the company. These data will be displayed in the block with useful effects of users.

Statistics of communities

In statistics the tab with the overview of the main events in community became available. It will be easier for owners of publics to keep track of activity of users — all important data are collected in one place. The overview is presented in the form of cards, each of them is clickable and conducts on the corresponding diagram in statistics. It is possible to select the period for which data — are necessary from 2 to 180 days. On each indicator there are two digits: absolute and relative — in comparison with a previous period.

The overview includes key indicators which allow to estimate work of community. For example, attendance and new subscribers. According to VK Business, these metrics are the most important for 40% of owners of Pages of business. It is also possible to look at a scope of publications, quantity of new likes, comments, clicking "buttons of actions" and other useful data.

«
To understand what changes happen in a public, it was necessary to walk according to all sections of statistics earlier and to selectively look at diagrams. It takes away a lot of time and requires special knowledge. The evident overview with all important digits in one place will significantly simplify monitoring of activity of users. These indicators give to owners of Pages of business a better understanding of target audience. Tracking of actions of potential clients allows to do offers attractive and to increase advertizing efficiency,
noted Aleksandra Cherkas, the evangelist of VK Business
»

Start of the VKontakte taxi based on the Mini Apps VK platform

On June 21, 2019 the Citymobil company reported that it started the VKontakte taxi based on the Mini Apps VK platform. The taxi can be called and paid on social network and also to separate the cost of a trip and to select from quality of a destination point of the address, specified in communities VKontakte. Residents of Moscow, Samara, Togliatti and Yaroslavl will be able to take part in testing. Read more here.

Start of advertizing stories

On February 12, 2019 the VKontakte company announced start of advertizing stories. For advertizing in Stories the same settings of targeting, as for advertizing records and text and graphic blocks are applicable: for example, sex, age or geolocation. The quantity of promoistoriya which will be seen by the user depends on that at how many common stories he looked in a row and what is the time gave it. Thus advertizing will not be persuasive and will not cause rejection in the audience.

VKontakte started advertizing stories

According to the company, this format of declarations "advertizing in Stories" will allow business to draw even more attention to the goods and services. Thanks to promoistoriya advertisers will have opportunities for a creative, and buttons with an appeal to action will give additional conversion to the main campaigns.

«
Users of VKontakte every day create and browse more and more stories. Especially it concerns young audience which to reach with promoistoriya it will turn out more effective, than using the majority of traditional formats. Such declarations occupy 100% of the screen of the smartphone, so draw more attention. It is important to remember it and to create creatives which will organically involve users in communication, but not to cause desire to interrupt viewing. Both the large, and small companies can effectively use advertizing stories for different tasks, combining them with other formats. It and an opportunity to involve clients in communication with a brand, both sales growth, and additional motivation of users on commission of actions, valuable to business.

Irina Rumyantseva, director of an advertizing product and advertizing monetization of VKontakte
»

Since February, 2019 advertizing in Stories of VKontakte will be available to all. Before it several advertisers who shared results of testing could test.

«
This format of advertizing received an audience response — users do not expect to meet her in a tape of Stories and, having seen a post, do not perceive it as advertizing therefore they pay it the maximum attention. So we do not overload the user with information, but we provide it in sufficient amount for primary interest a product.

Herman Yermolaev, managing partner of the SMMashing Media SMM agency
»

2018

Revenue reached 18,431 million rubles

On March 1, 2019 internet- the holding Mail.Ru Group announced that revenue social networks of VKontakte in four years grew four times and made 18,431 million rubles at the end of 2018. By Mail.Ru Group estimates, VKontakte has considerable potential of further development and will be able to double once again revenue in the next 3-4 years. In 2019 VKontakte will carry out a number of integration to areas e-commerce. To users, leaders of opinions, tools will be available to communities and sellers to purchase and sales of goods through internet. Also it is going to develop functionality QR codes using the platform for small and medium business.

The website#2 in Russia

Start of the Advertising of the Websites format in a news feed

On December 5, 2018 the VKontakte company for business announced start of an advertizing format — Advertising of the Website. According to the company, it is possible to attract traffic on the website directly in a news feed. At the same time for creation of the declaration the community VKontakte is not required.

Advertizing of the websites

The main difference from the existing format TGB (text and graphic blocks) is that it will allow advertisers to select for demonstration of the declaration any platform — complete and mobile versions of the website and also mobile applications. Users will be able to see "Advertizing of the website" in a news feed, on walls of communities and on the external resources entering into advertizing network VKontakte.

The format looks as a part of a news feed — the declaration does not differ from a normal post, except for a text "Advertizing of the website" under heading. Transition is performed by clicking on any field of record.

«
VKontakte are available various advertizing formats to solving of tasks of advertisers. For example, the most popular format of promopost for December, 2018 allows to continue communication with the potential client and to implement his requests directly in social network. But sometimes it is important to advertisers to attract visitors and on the external website. Now for this purpose declarations of TGB which users see on the web version of VKontakte are actively used. The Advertising of the Websites format will allow advertisers to receive traffic from a news feed, and declarations will be seen by users on all platforms.

Irina Rumyantseva, director of an advertizing product and advertizing monetization of VKontakte
»

VKontakte refused to cooperate with NBKI

The social network, largest in Russia, will not cooperate with the National Bureau of Credit Histories (NBCH), i.e. to transfer it information on users, TASS reports in May, 2018.

The NBKI provides information on individuals, including their credit stories, to banks that those could on their basis make decisions on issuance of credits and other possible transactions. Earlier credit bureau using Mail.ru Group (VKontakte owns) developed service for check of profiles of borrowers in social networks.

The court prohibited the third-party companies to use data of users of VKontakte

In Moscow the Ninth arbitration Court of Appeal in January, 2018 met requirements of social network "VKontakte" concerning prohibition on use of its these users. The Double Data LLC company acted as the defendant in case (works under the Double Data brand). To the claimant it was refused collecting symbolical compensation in 1 ruble. The press service of Skolkovo Foundation which resident is Double Data[2] reported about it[3].

VKontakte filed a lawsuit against Double Data in January, 2017. Representatives of social network required to prohibit Double Data to use this its users, such as surnames, names, work locations and studies and so forth, for commercial purposes. In particular, Double Data sold collected data to banks which used the acquired information for assessment of solvency of clients.

In addition, representatives VKontakte specified that information on users was aggregated in the automated database which creation involved finance and time costs and consequently the company should have the exclusive right to permit or prohibit the third parties to extract materials from this base and to use them in any form.

As representatives said Double Data, for data collection the company used own software, and all information was taken from open sources.

Inclusion in the list of the largest piracy websites

The social network "VKontakte" was included in the updated list of 25 largest piracy websites made by Ministry of Commerce of the USA. In addition to social network, such Russian projects as Rutracker, Rapidgator and kinogo are also included in the list, Interfax reported in January, 2018.

It is remarkable that VKontakte already not for the first time appears in the black list of the American ministry. At the same time in the report department stated: "Reports of VKontakte that the company takes steps for fight against piracy give hope".

Nevertheless, so far, despite presence at social network of partnership agreements with three international owners of musical products — Universal Music Group, Warner Music Group and Sony Music Entertainment, the rights of other owners continue to be violated.

Inclusion in the list however does not mean application of any sanctions against the websites. The list is created for the purpose of informing on piracy problem on the Internet.[4]

2017

VKontakte will close the Kiev office

The management of VKontakte made the decision to close the Kiev office of social network and to transfer a part of employees to Moscow. With reference to unnamed sources writes vc.ru about it.

The official representative of VKontakte Evgeny Krasnikov could not confirm this information.

VKontakte opened the Ukrainian office in 2012. News about closing of office "VKontakte" appeared next day after searches at the Ukrainian offices of "Yandex". The search engine was suspected of treason. According to the SSU, it was engaged in collection of data on Ukrainians who then were given to the Russian intelligence agencies.

You watch also Sanctions of Ukraine against Russia.

Hit under the Ukrainian sanctions

On May 16, 2017 the president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko the decree enacted the decision of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) on sanctions against the Russian companies and their affiliated enterprises in Ukraine. In total in the sanctions list there were 468 legal entities, from them 81 – connected with the IT field. Among the companies which fell under sanctions there were also Russian and Ukrainian legal persons of VKontakte. Read more here.

VKontakte paid to hackers $148 thousand

VKontakte announced in May, 2017 that in two years of participation in the program for search of vulnerabilities of HackerOne the social network paid over $148 thousand 292 to information security specialists who announced detection of technical vulnerabilities in services of the company and official mobile applications.

In total since May, 2015 VKontakte received over 3000 reports — of them turned out 385 useful and therefore their authors earned a reward. Amount of remuneration is directly proportional to gravity of vulnerability, the minimum award makes $100. Payment is made only to the first researcher who announced an error. Operation of vulnerabilities against users of VKontakte involves a total failure in payment.

Service of money transfers

VKontakte announced in March start of service of money transfers to groups, public pages and actions through messages of communities. For sending means it is necessary to open dialog with community, to select the item "Money" in the menu of investments, to enter the amount and to confirm transfer.

Administrators and editors of community can accept transfer. The history of transfers is available in management of community. As well as in a case with money transfers to users, when sending money from the MasterCard and Maestro cards the fee is not charged, and for cards of Visa the commission makes 1%, at least 40 rubles.

VKontakte started money transfers between users in September, 2016. It is possible to send transfer from the MasterCard, Maestro and Visa cards of the Russian banks, to receive — on the MasterCard, Maestro and Visa cards issued in Russia and also on the MasterCard and Maestro cards released in Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Germany, Georgia, Israel, Italy, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Romania, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, France, the Czech Republic and Estonia.

Service of viewing documents MS Office

VKontakte announced in March availability to users of social network of print preview of the documents Microsoft Office in text (*.doc and *.docx), tabular (*.xls and *.xlsx) and presentation (*.ppt and *.pptx) formats. As told CNews in the company, files will not be required to be loaded on the device: when clicking the document will open in a new window of the browser or in Vkontakte application.

The preview of documents works both in the web version of VKontakte, and in applications. In the future editing the Microsoft Office files directly on social network will become available to users.

The Dokumenty service appeared VKontakte in 2011. All files which are loaded by users of VKontakte through Dokumenty service are by default mentioned as "personal", i.e. are not displayed in search issue. Using privacy settings users solve who will be able to see the documents loaded by them.

2016

The company submitted the Snapster photoapplication which reminds Instagram in July, 2015. Also VKontakte began to test with participation of celebrities forward video broadcastings based on Pladform.

In the fall of 2016 the social network started the service of money transfers implemented in private messages of users, and slightly earlier, in the summer, the website completely moved to new design.

The trade mission of the USA included VKontakte in the list of the piracy websites again

The trade mission of the USA included social network "VKontakte" in the list of the websites with pirated content for 2016. At the same time, department was positive for actions which the management of social network takes for fight against piracy, RNS writes.

In particular, the conclusion of license agreements with recording studios, implementation of technologies for recognition of content is positively estimated. Fight against programs for illegal downloading of media became one more measure of fight against piracy.

"Despite positive signals, VK as is reported, remains the platform allowing to perform illegal activity because of what it remained in upgraded version of the list" — the message of the trade mission quotes the edition.

The social network calculates that in 2017 the resource will be excluded from the "black" list of the American department.

"During 2016 agreements with the largest world owners of musical products were signed: Universal Music, Sony Music and Warner Music, The Orchard, Merlin Network, Believe Digital, etc. In August of the 2016th, after two years of absence, the musical section returned to the VK App application for iOS. Next year we will continue work on agreement signature with not covered previous arrangements as owners" — representatives of VKontakte reported.

It is noted that the list of the websites with pirated content which is annually updated by the trade mission of the USA formally does not influence work of resources, but can negatively affect reputation of brands. In addition to VKontakte, in the list torrent trackers, the websites for downloading of books and music, etc. appear.

Two of three residents of the cities of Russia use VKontakte

According to the updated Web Index of Mediascope company on the cities of 100 thousand +, more than 65% of residents of the cities of Russia use [5]. At the same time nearly 40% of audience are preferred by mobile application as the main method of daily access to social network.

Expansion of measurement of audience of mobile applications Web Index in the cities with the population 100-700K+ of one thousand led to growth of indicators of the measured audience of the OK application practically by 3 times, from 3 to 8.8 million. The cumulative measured audience of desktop OK version and mobile applications grew by 2.5 times. At the same time the number of users of mobile application of social network in the cities 100-699K are almost twice higher, than in the cities 700K+. Every second resident of these cities comes into OK at least once a month.

The social network without judgments transfers data on users to intelligence agencies

On June 6, 2016 data on interaction of VKontakte social network with security agencies on the first demand of last[6] were confirmed[6].

The press secretary of social network Evgeny Krasnikov does not see anything bad in correspondence transfer to intelligence agencies without court's decision. He completely supports the initiative of transfer to intelligence agencies of any information on users of social network without court's decision.

While FBI has legal proceedings with Apple for failure to provide access to the ciphered iPhone, the Russian social network "VKontakte" transfers all information on the users on the first demand of intelligence agencies. It with pride was said by the press secretary of social network Evgeny Krasnikov at a forum in Kazan.

«
I would like to hope that our law enforcement agencies and law enforcement agencies which have an opportunity to obtain any personal information of our users do it for the good and on protection of our country if draining of such correspondence helped to prevent serious effects, terrorist attacks, then there can be it and to the best.

Evgeny Krasnikov, head of the press service of VKontakte
»

2015: Durov receives full control over management of VKontakte

As wrote Forbes in April, 2015, the Mail.ru Group Internet company transferred to the CEO and the founder of VKontakte Pavel Durov the power of attorney to vote by a packet of the stocks of social network owned by holding. It is said in the press release of Mail.ru Group distributed on May 28, 2015.

I am glad that we at this stage of our relationship managed to find an interaction form", comfortable both for Mail.ru Group, and for VKontakte. In the long term will benefit both parties and all Russian segment of the Internet from our arrangements — words of the CEO of Mail.ru Group Dmitry Grishin are cited in the press release.

"Mail.ru Group and VKontakte, remaining independent in management of the companies, have a number of common problems and tasks which need to be solved jointly. In practice it can lead to acceleration of technology development of the Russian companies and improvement of the user experience of the Russian audience" — Durov in return said[7].

From now on Pavel Durov actually will make solely decisions on management of the largest Russian social network. At the same time he already said that he is not going to bring VKontakte to the exchange in the nearest future.

"the IPO of Facebook destroyed belief of many private investors in social networks, and the IPO of VK is postponed indefinitely" — Durov answered a question of the journalist on Twitter.

2014

60.2 million users a day

The daily number of visitors of VKontakte social network reached on January 20, 2014 record-breaking high level in 60.2 million users, follows from statistics of the LiveInternet resource.

In January, 2013 the average daily number of visitors of VKontakte made about 44 million. So far this indicator grew more than by a third. At the same time the number of viewings falling on one visitor decreased from 63 to 53. The average time of viewings in a year decreased slightly — from 13 to 12 minutes.

Growth of revenue by 6.2%

VKontakte LLC got net profit in the amount of 709 million rubles in 2014 that in 15 times more, than in 2013 (46 million rub), Interfax with reference to the reporting of the companies under RAS[8] reported [8].

The net profit of VKontakte is 13 times less, than the social network has competitors.

Revenue of VKontakte increased by 6.2%, to 6.2 billion rubles, data on RAS demonstrate (early data on IFRS specified that the social network in 2014 earned only 4.3 billion rubles).

In the fourth quarter 2014 revenues of social network increased by 22.6% to 1,348 million rubles.

Pavel Durov sold all the shares of VKontakte to the CEO of MegaFon

On January 24, 2014 the founder and the CEO of VKontakte Pavel Durov announced on the page in social network sale of the share in the company to the CEO of MegaFon operator Ivan Tavrin[9].

Thus, after completion of the transaction of 40% of VKontakte Mail.ru Group, 48% - to Ilya Shcherbovich's fund United Capital Partners, and another 12% - to Ivan Tavrin heading MegaFon will belong.

It is important to know that the controlling shareholder of Mail.ru Group - Alisher Usmanov - at the same time is the main owner of MegaFon. Ivan Tavrin to whom Pavel Durov sold the share, - Usmanov's partner in the YuTV media holding integrating TV channels "Yu", "Muz TV" and Disney. The general share of Tavrin and Mail.ru Group in social network - 52%, thus, now Usmanov indirectly received control over VKontakte.

The cumulative share of VKontakte belonging to Mail.Ru Group made 100%

Mail.Ru Group Limited announced in September, 2014 acquisition 48.01% of VK.Com Limited (VKontakte). Acquisition of 48.01% was complete on September 16, 2014. Shares were purchased at Blesmir Development Limited and Palagon Limited. As a result the cumulative share of VKontakte belonging to Mail.Ru Group made 100%. Respectively, Mail.Ru Group consolidates VKontakte in financial statements.

Acquisition of 48.01% was completely paid with money in the amount of $1.47 billion. Considering the amount, paid for the remained 52% of VKontakte from the moment of the first investment in 2007, the total cost of acquisition of VKontakte was $2.07 billion Mail.Ru Group paid the transaction with the money which is on accounts of the company and also the loan in the amount of 22.2 billion rubles ($585 million at the rate of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation) granted by Gazprombank for 4 years under 11.5% per annum. UCP, Mail.Ru Group and Pavel Durov also compounded that along with acquisition all incomplete legal procedures will be immediately stopped, and claims to VKontakte and the questions connected with it — are removed.

In 2013 income of VKontakte grew by 14%, having been 3.8 billion rubles, the indicator of EBITDA grew by 32%, having made 1 billion rubles, and net profit was 53 million rubles. In the first half of the year 2014 income of VKontakte was 2.0 billion rubles, EBITDA — 694 million rubles, net profit — 248 million rubles.

Consolidation of VKontakte is caused strategically: VKontakte about more than 92 million MAU (comScore, the whole world, July, 2014) corresponds to the Mail.Ru Group portfolio.

2013

Growth of revenue by 15%, Loss of 137 million rubles

Mail.ru Group opened in the spring of 2014 financial performance of some assets. In particular, it became clear that the social network "VKontakte" (Mail.ru Group owns in it 52% of stocks (for April, 2014)) yields two years losses. In 2012 net loss made 210 million rub, in 2013 it was reduced by 30% to 137 million rubles. Revenue of social network at the same time for 2013 grew by 15% up to 3.83 billion rubles.

VKontakte never opened the financial performance. But followed from the materials Mail.ru Group that in 2008 the social network got net profit, and continued to be profitable till 2011 inclusive.

Mirilashvili and Leviyev sell UCP of 48% in VKontake

On April 17, 2013 it became known that the United Capital Partners (UCP) fund acquired 48% of shares of VKontake, reported CNews in fund. 40% of shares were sold by the co-founder of network Vyacheslav Mirilashvili and his father, the famous St. Petersburg entrepreneur Mikhail Mirilashvili (owns the St. Petersburg group "Konti"). Another 8% were sold by the chief executive of VKontakte Lev Leviyev.

Thus, UCP became the largest shareholder of VKontakte. 40% of stocks of network belong to Mail.ru Group holding, 12% - to the CEO of VKontakte Pavel Durov. At the same time Durov manages as well add Mail.ru Group.

Transaction amount does not reveal. The last transaction which was carried out by Mail.ru Group with stocks of VKontakte took place in the summer of 2011. Then all network was estimated at $1.4 billion. Proceeding from this assessment the amount of the present transaction could be about $700 million.

The shareholders' agreement of VKontakte provided the preferential right of the existing shareholders to the redemption of shares in the company, CNews told a source among shareholders. The notification on the forthcoming transaction to shareholders was not sent, but it will be difficult to dispute sale all the same, the interlocutor of CNews says: most likely, shares in VKontakte were on sale not directly, and together with the relevant offshores[10].

2012

The loss made 210 million rubles

Since 2012 the adopted laws directed to regulation of Internet space began to have an impact on social network. VKontakte was by mistake blocked by Roskomnadzor, and because of the first version of the anti-counterfeiting law the administration of the website purged content. Afterwards activity of social network raised a question from fighters for legal content more than once.

The USA urged to deal with piracy on social network "VKontakte"

The USA accused the Russian social network "VKontakte" of ensuring access to intellectual property without the permission of owners. The RBC agency with reference to the statement of the representative of the USA at trade negotiations Ron Kirk reported about it. Kirk called the Russian government led by Dmitry Medvedev for "acceptance of adequate measures".

It is not the first case of recognition of VKontakte contributing to the development of piracy. So, in in November, 2010 the VKontakte social network was included in the black list of illegal distributors of music made by the American association of the companies of the sound recording industry reminded the agency.

2011

In the III quarter 2011 of VKontakte earned about 550 million rubles from advertizing, the deputy her CEO Ilya Perekopsky[11] said to Vedomosti[11].

Image:Доли сайтов России в баннернойи рекламе 2004-2011.PNG
  • The Belarusian KGB began to arrest administrators of oppositional groups of the present power on social network "VKontakte". Three people are delayed already. All of them were administrators of groups in which citizens of the country discussed future protest actions, Russian News Service reports.

  • In August, 2011 it became known that increase in a share of Mail.ru Group in VKontakte up to 39.99% took place at the expense of the founder of social network Pavel Durov, JPMorgan reported. And Vyacheslav Mirilashvili[12] remains the largest shareholder of VKontakte[13].

In the report of JPMorgan the structure of shareholders of VKontakte upon completion of the transaction with Mail.ru Group is described. Now Mail.ru Group owns 39.99% of social network, and the remained 60% are separated between its founder Pavel Durov (12%), his partner Lev Leviyev (8%) and Mirilashvili's family (40%). The source, close to shareholders of VKontakte, specifies: Mirilashvili has 42%, and Leviyev has 6%. It was confirmed by the businessman, familiar with them. Economic shares of shareholders match voting.

According to the USRLE, in 2007 (foundation year of VKontakte) Vyacheslav Mirilashvili owned 60%, his grandfather Mikhail — 10%, Leviyev — 10%, and Durov — 20%. Since then both Mirilashvili sold Mail.ru Group of 30%, Leviyev — 4%, and Durov — 8%. Now all packet of family of Mirilashvili is in Vyacheslav's hands, tell two sources, close to shareholders of VKontakte.

In July, 2011 Mail.ru Group reported that it implemented the last from the purchase options of a share in VKontakte — purchased 7.44% for $111.7 million. In day of the message about the transaction Durov published in Instagram social network the photo with indecent gesture, having signed it: "The official answer of Tryosh holding of Mail.ru to its next attempts to absorb VKontakte. Durov did not begin to explain to Vedomosti motives of such act.

But in February, 2011 the CEO of Mail.ru Group Dmitry Grishin said in an interview to Forbes that it would be strategically correct to control VKontakte. Investment banks — organizers of IPO Mail.ru Group (took place in November, 2010) warned: being independent, VKontakte will select audience at under control Mail.ru Group of Odnoklassniki and Moy mir@mail.ru social network. And it happened, the recent report of Bank of America demonstrates. But Durov said at once: Mail.ru Group could not expect control in VKontakte. Moreover, in Instagram service there was a photo of the having dinner entrepreneur showing a middle finger in the camera. The picture was followed by the signature: "The official answer of Tryosh holding of Mail.ru to its next attempts to absorb VKontakte.

The contract with IMHO VI for sale of advertizing in applications

In November, 2011 it became known that the social network VKontakte signed the sales contract of advertizing in applications with IMHO VI. It can bring networks to 1 billion rubles in 2012[11].

VKontakte reported that introduces a centralized system of sales of advertizing in the applications which are posted online (the games, tests training programs, etc.). Their developers will be able to connect via the single program interface media advertizing of two types — the banners appearing at loading of the application (preloader) and banners in applications. The IMHO VI advertizing agency which "distributes the largest volumes of advertizing budgets of television advertisers" will be engaged in sale of preloader, reports social network. VKontakte wants to sell advertizing in applications with participation of IMHO VI too though not only it.

Preloader — a format on which users literally cannot have eyes glued as such advertizing cannot be "scrolled", explains a source in IMHO VI. Therefore the indicator of CTR (percent of click-throughs) at such advertizing — 1%, is 10 times higher, than at banners.

The volume of the contract of VKontakte and IMHO VI is not called. Two sources in advertizing agencies were heard that in 2012 IMHO VI wants to sell in VKontakte advertizing on 1 billion rubles.

It was possible to place advertizing in applications earlier, but it was done by the third-party agencies; neither the social network, nor developers almost earned from it, the CEO of IContext advertizing agency Maria Chernitskaya explains. VKontakte is more profitable to regulate this business and to take all flows under control, it agrees.

The contract IMHO VI with VKontakte — one of the largest in the market, comparable with the contract IMHO VI and "Yandex", is sure the CEO of AdWatch Isobar Russia Andrey Chernyshov. If preloader it is possible to set in applications from the list top-30 to this social network, then on number of demonstrations and on income this type of advertizing can be compared to homepages of the largest Internet portals, he considers. Usually the homepage provides 30-40% of income of the portal of media advertizing, estimates a source in advertizing agency.

Failure in blocking of political opposition

The founder and the chief developer of social network "VKontakte" posted a photo where he shows a middle finger to Mail.ru holding. He called this photo the official response to attempt of group to finally absorb VKontakte. Besides, the last days the network actively resists to FSB in attempts to close oppositional groups.

Pavel Durov, the founder and the head of departments of development of social network "VKontakte", published the photo where it shows a middle finger to Mail.ru holding through Instagram service. The signature under the picture says that it "the official answer to Mail.ru trash holding on its next attempts to absorb VKontakte.

At the moment the social network belongs to Mail.ru for 39.9%, Vyacheslav Mirilashvili has a share in 42%, Pavel Durov has 12%, Lev Leviyev has 6%. No information on possible purchase of Mail.ru of an additional share officially arrived yet.

In the light of the latest events with the oppositional VKontakte groups Pavel Durov's gesture looks, perhaps, is even wider. As the user under the nickname "edvvvard" reported in the blog in LiveJournal and at the same time the administrator of group of Alexei Navalny of VKontakte ("RosPil - corruption war - Alexei Navalny"), administration of network recognizes that pressure from intelligence agencies for the purpose of closing of oppositional groups is put upon it.

Let's remind that the famous blogger and the anti-corrupt official Alexei Navalny was arrested during the opposition rally in Moscow on December 5 devoted to results of State Duma elections of the Russian Federation. Together with some other activists of Alexei Navalny sentenced to 15 days of arrest. In total in Moscow and St. Petersburg in days not less than 1 thousand people were arrested from December 5 to December 7.

Now opposition forces through social network "VKontakte" prepare the all-Russian meeting of a protest against results of elections which is appointed to December 10. In the RosPil group on social network about 80 thousand people consist, there are also other groups of similar orientation.

The user of "edvvvard" writes the following in the blog: "Only in one day the number of supporters of Navalny increased by 10.000 people and every second new comments began to appear. Suddenly suddenly everything was blocked - it became impossible to publish new posts and to add comments on a group wall" (the author's punctuation is saved).

Then it gives correspondence screenshots with Pavel Durov where Pavel reports that the group was temporarily blocked because of exceeding of restriction on number of posts in day (16384), but not on a pointer of the authorities. Then the administration of VKontakte especially for this group replaced algorithms, and it recovered work. 

In the specified correspondence Pavel Durov reports:

"The last days FSB asks us to block oppositional groups, I turn on yours. We essentially do not do it. I do not know, than it can come to an end for us, but we stand".

Daley he reminds that it is not connected with political convictions of owners and staff of social network in any way. VKontakte of 100% the apolitical company, we do not support either the power, or opposition, any of batches. My private political views libertarian, they do not influence process".

2010

  • In April the company started own service of e-mail. All users of VKontakte had an opportunity to register names for profiles of a type "vkontakte.ru/имя". Also the Merchant API service which allows online stores to be connected to VKontakte payment system was started. As a result of it under each description of goods the Purchase VKontakte button appears.

  • On April 23 the Desktop Apps service which allows to create special applications for work with social network in mobile devices is provided. Third-party developers will be able to offer users of VKontakte different applications for mobile platforms, widgets and expansions for web browsers.

  • On July 14, 2010 the company announced that it began open testing of support of the protocol XMPP (Jabber) on the website. This protocol will allow users to exchange instant to messages with friends on VKontakte through external instant-messengers. The new service "VKontakte" supports transfer of instant messages via the electronic online translator Google Translate and allows to browse the history of correspondence with all the contacts which is stored on the server of social network. Besides, the status of the user in an instant-messenzhder at connection to the Jabber-server of VKontakte is automatically published on his page in social network and can be also broadcast century Twitter. According to representatives of VKontakte, they are also going to start the S2S function (server2server) after the end of testing of new functionality which will allow the users having accounts on different services to communicate with each other. Further the social network is going to agree with one of developer companies of messengers about assembly of the special program which will be completely adapted for needs of our users, the representative of VKontakte Vladislav Tsyplukhin says.

  • VKontakte is the largest social network of Runet. According to TNS for July, 2010, the monthly audience of network made 19.6 million people. For October, 2010 the audience of a resource totaled over 70 million registered users.

  • In August, 2010 MTS and VKontakte announced opening for the users since September first of free access to the mobile 0.vkontakte.ru portal which allows to communicate free of charge with the friends in social network "VKontakte". The 0.vkontakte.ru portal is optimized for fast loading of pages through mobile connection - it is faster and light version of the mobile website m.vkontakte.ru.

The 0.vkontakte.ru portal allows to use all opportunities of mobile version, but at the same time does not display graphics, a photo and video files thanks to what access rate to a resource significantly increases. Access to content placed on pages of the user can be received, having clicked the special link, at the same time the user is notified that he leaves the website 0.vkontakte.ru and, respectively, a free zone of tariffing. During the viewing content and link navigation on other resources data transmission is paid according to the subscriber's rate.

Free access to 0.vkontakte.ru is possible only in the "home" region of the subscriber and in intra network roaming. Free access is not supported for Opera Mini and similar browsers using compression of traffic and also for the subscribers who connected service of the static IP address. At the same time the possibility of use of VKontakte of the standard version for mobile devices on the website m.vkontakte.ru with payment of traffic in compliance with conditions of a rate of the subscriber remains.

Revenue growth from targeted advertizing three times

Revenues of VKontake from targeted advertizing during the third quarter 2010 grew three times to one and a half million dollars a month[14]. In total for the first nine months 2010 the social network earned from targeted text declarations on pages of users 5-6 million dollars. Leviyev explained revenue growth with start of a new system of advertizing.

Financial results of year: growth of revenue by 94%

Revenue of the largest Russian social network "VKontakte" grew for 2010 by 94% - to 93.8 million dollars in comparison with 48.4 million dollars the previous year, the Mail.Ru Group Internet company owning a share of VKontakte in the amount of 32.55% reported.

The indicator of EBIDTA of social network grew by 54.6% to 28.4 million dollars, the company in the financial statement reported. The cost of VKontakte of Mail.Ru Group which owns the purchase option of additional 7.5% of social network till October, 2011 estimates at 1.84 billion dollars.

Revenue of social network "VKontakte" from advertizing made 1.36 billion rubles or 44.8 mln. dollars in 2010. About it with reference to the words of the chief executive of the company Lev Leviyev, the Vedomosti newspaper reported. From them 450 million rubles were brought by target contextual advertizing, 910 million rubles — media, given about income from paid services "VKontakte" does not open. In 2011 VKontakte is going to refuse sale of media advertizing, having focused on context. Nevertheless the management of social network plans that revenue of the company this year will treble.

2009

Purchase of the domain vk.com

The VKontakte network purchased domain name of vk.com. The domain was created in June, 1997, the last re-registration took place on August 28, 2009. According to the chief executive of VKontakte Lev Leviyev, the company is going to develop abroad and by October, 2009 will start versions of the website vk.com in 12 languages. The combination of VK will become the international brand of VKontakte, he explained. Leviyev did not call transaction amount.

The ex-CEO of the Russian office MySpace Alexander Turkot estimates costs of VKontakte for purchase of the domain at several tens of thousands of dollars, the director of the coordination center of the domain.ru Andrey Kolesnikov — a maximum in $100,000.

Stealing of 135 thousand passwords of users

On July 30, 2009 one of users of the website "LiveJournal" published the link to the text file containing about 135 thousand records in a format "the elektronnaya@pocht: the password" which corresponded to accounts in VKontakte network. On the same day the file access on the server was stopped.

Financial results of year: revenue – 1.094 billion rubles, net profit – 369.3 million rub

Revenue – 1.094 billion rubles ($34.5 million), net profit – 369.3 million rub ($11.6 million) (data of RAS)[15].

Profitability on the net profit of VKontakte made 34% in 2009, counted Lepetukhin. And operating margin – 43%, Kochetkov considered.

In 2009 the social network opened API (application programming interface) for developers and now gains income from their products though it itself does not invest in development. For example, the developers of the game "Happy Farmer" who earned $20 million in VKontakte gave to social network a half of this amount.

For July, 2009 on the website about 38 million users are registered.

2008: Revenue of 161 million rubles.

2008 — 161 million rubles ($5 million) revenue and 142.2 million rubles ($4.5 million) net profit.

The social network gradually begins to acquire new features: there were anonymous opinions, an opportunity to draw "graffiti" on a wall of users, applications, video and audio recordings and other functions.

The audience of VKontakte began to grow actively in the first years of the existence, having begun to compete with other popular Russian social network — Odnoklassniki. In 2008 the network, according to alexa.com, became the most popular Internet resource in Russia and overtook the "red" competitor, and at the end of the 2010th the of users reached a point of 100 million.

2007

At the beginning of 2007 the VKontakte limited liability company was founded. Vyacheslav Mirilashvili (60%), his father — the entrepreneur Mikhail Mirilashvili (10%), Pavel Durov (20%) and Lev Leviyev (10%) became founders of the company. According to Leviyev, he also told future creator of the project about the western social network Facebook which concept formed the basis of the Russian analog. The technical director of the portal up to 2013 was Durov's brother — Nikolay.

On October 10, 2006 - a birthday of network

Date of emergence of social network matches happy birthday the creator of the website Pavel Durov. The website with the address vkontakte.ru registered on October 1, 2006 received the first functions on October 10, 2006.

Durov at a forum of SPbSU which administrator he was took potential users of VKontakte. At the initial stage students could be registered in future global social network only by invitations under real names and surnames. But at the end of November, 2006 free registration[16] was open].

The starting functionality of the project came down to creation of a profile with information on itself, to replenishment of the list of friends, message exchange, the organization of groups and meetings and also loading of photos.

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