Eastern European Social Sites Bullish On 2010 Growth


Who is the world’s biggest social network operator? According to Latvian tech outfit Forticom, it is, with some 17 million daily users across its sites serving eastern Europe and Russian. “We’re not only Europe’s second largest social network, we’re probably the world’s second largest”, CEO Nazar Yasin told Monday’s Noah conference in London.

The company’s sites, including the Russian Odnoklassniki.ru, Baltic-focused One and the Polish Nasza-klasa.pl – have 60 million registered users and their population is only going in one direction.

Yasin’s claims may be hard to prove entirely, but his bullishness about the region’s online growth (there’s plenty left) is exactly why investors are looking toward the RuNet and eastern Europe. Here are more of Yasin’s stats from Noah…

— There are 350 million people in Forticom’s international markets (UN estimates, via Wikipedia) and only about 75 million of them are online yet (via Internetworldstats.com).

If internet penetration continues to US levels (between 75 and 80 percent), it will have another 200 million potential users before 2011. It expects to sign up about 80 percent of those.

— Yasin reckons Forticom will be “Europe’s biggest internet company” by net income next year. Right now, it has “triple-digit million dollars” in revenues and “middle double digit million” in income.

— People pay for social: an average five percent of users buy premium services, though it’s as high as 10 or 15 percent in some markets.

— Odnoklassniki.ru is so popular in Russia, Yasin swears blind there may be a national holiday in its honour.

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