People are constantly in the wish to get connected with their friends and classmates. Among the famous social networking sites, Odnoklassniki (translated as “Classmates”) started out as a website, in Russia, for finding one’s classmates from school and university, but it has been rebranded to expand its purpose and conquer greater sections of society. Statistics show that Russians are quite active on social media platforms. They spend about 9.8 hours each month on these platforms. So, it’s not unlikely or improbable for you to find a friend in Odnoklassniki, especially if they are from Russia. Although it may be used primarily to search for classmates/ old friends, Odnoklassniki can also be used by businessmen for marketing purposes. It actually acts as a platform to get to know their target audience and to establish engaging relations with them.
What is Odnoklassniki?
The site, developed by Albert Popkov on March 4, 2006, operated just like any other social networking service, the first step being to register in order to use its services. Odnoklassniki is owned by the Mail.ru Group, which is the largest Russian internet company. The site is available in several languages, some of them being Armenian, Azero, English, Georgian, Romanian, Russian, Ukrainian, and Uzbeki.
According to data from Alexa.com, the global rank of the social networking site is 67 while it holds the 7th rank in Russia. Of course, most of its users are Russian, while the rest come from different areas such as Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Germany.
Based on data from CrunchBase, the social networking platform reached 100 million users on June 21, 2011. Data from TNS shows that Odnoklassniki receives around 18 million visits per month in Russia. The average age of users on the site ranges in the ’20s and 30’s, wherein women comprise 60%.
One of the most applaudable sections of Odnoklassniki is the variety of options and functionalities it provides to its users. Along with its feature of the friends’ search engine, and all the required functions of a social network (status updates, sharing photos, posting comments, etc.), Odnoklassniki even provides specific sections for lovers of music and multimedia content.
As stated earlier, the site mainly focuses on sharing photographs with old classmates. It also provides a feature that allows users to rate the photos of other people. In addition, users can also see who viewed their profile, chat with friends, and get a real-time listing of who is currently online.
Profile- This is where users can see an overview of you, i.e., it acts as a tool wherein people get to know about you. It provides basic information, friend lists, personal photos, photo albums, and the groups you are participating in.
Groups- Just like Google+ has Communities, and Facebook has Groups, Odnoklassniki also has its own set of Groups. It’s where you can find people who have interests similar to yours. Here, you can participate in conversations based on your interests. Sharing photos and videos in Groups is an additional feature. With Groups, it’s also possible to hold contests and promotional events, sounds interesting, isn’t it?
Games- Just like Facebook, Odnoklassniki offers its users to play games, some of them being Poker, Crossfire, and RiotZone. They even highlight the interactive functions that can be integrated through APIs, which allow you to add games and applications and thus, create integrated e-shops, and so on.
Additionally, users can upload songs and videos on the site as well. Odnoklassniki’s business model is not at all different from that of its competitors, which is, biasing its revenues on advertisers and sponsored content.
Observing its success stories, Odnoklassniki, a social media platform, nevertheless has a long way to go in its expansion in the West and other parts of the world. Today it may be difficult to imagine it competing with Twitter, Facebook, and other giants at an international level, but the ambition and willpower of its founder will definitely take it to great heights in the future.