Belarusian segment of the Internet.
A recent study by the International Agency Gemius suggests that in today’s Belarus more than 50% of the population use the Internet. This means that the Internet is becoming the second largest source of information and the authorities have to reckon with this fact.
A recent study by the International Agency Gemius suggests that over 50% of the Belarusian population aged 15+ today are internet users, i.e. 4 063 177 people.
Researchers identify an Internet user as a person who connects to the Internet at least once a month. The Agency collected data through online surveys, online panels and meters, incorporated into 165 sites.
In October 2009 the number of Internet users surpassed 3 million.
Therefore Belarus is one of the leaders in Central and Eastern Europe in terms of growth of Internet users. From August to December 2011 the number of internet users increased by about 8 percent. However, in the countries neighboring Belarus, i.e. Lithuania and Latvia the Internet penetration is higher, about 60% and 80% in Estonia.
The reasons the number of Internet users rapidly increased in the second half of 2011 are as follows:
1. Increased availability of the Internet. During the crisis the cost of internet access has sharply decreased in relation to the US Dollar, incomes, other goods and services. The cost of internet during the past year in ruble terms has not changed, while prices in rubles increased by 200%, incomes by 70% and the USD exchange rate nearly tripled.
2. Increased demand for alternative information, mostly economic. While facing rising prices and falling incomes, the population felt the need for additional information to adjust their economic behavior in accordance with the current processes and expert forecasts.
Internet users by regions:
Minsk and Minsk region 38.42%
Brest region 14.01%
Vitebsk region 13.57%
Gomel region 12.93%
Mogilev region 11.69%
An average Belarusian Internet user is a middle class male. Higher education have 36.41% of the users. About a third of Internet users are specialists/leading specialist (24.26%).
The most popular Internet provider is ByFly of the RUE “Beltelecom” (broadband ADSL 62.54%).
As well, the popularity of social networks in Belarus has increased sharply.
Today the number of Facebook users in Belarus amounts to 354 520 accounts. In November 2010, there were only 145 000 accounts. Therefore in Belarus the number of Facebook users has increased by 2.5 times.
Belarusian audience of Vkontakte, according to latest figures, is 2.5 million accounts.
The number of accounts registered in a popular Belarusian network Vceti.by, according GemiusBelarus, is more than 315 thousand people (as of October 2011).
According to Gemius, in October 2011 the audience of social network “Odnoklassniki” was more than 1.183 million people.
Number of users of the Belarusian LiveJournal is more than 632 thousand people.