Russian Influencers Scramble to Maintain Their Followers and Livelihoods

Increasingly isolated, creators are moving to Russian platform alternatives like VK, Yandex Zen, and RuTube.

As waves of wartime sanctions by foreign governments and private companies hit Russia, the country’s creator economy is in flux. The state ban on both Instagram and Facebook, Google’s ban on most YouTube monetization in the country, and restrictions on the ability of Russian users to upload videos to TikTok have instigated a mass platform migration among Russian creators and audiences. To salvage their online followings, and incomes, some creators have started moving their audiences to new platforms.

Many creators are moving to alternative Russian-grown platforms like Yandex Zen, RuTube, and VKontakte (VK) — all part of a constellation of platforms that offer a government-approved alternative to services like Facebook, YouTube, and even Netflix. Others are moving to Telegram, a messaging service with an established reputation in Russia as a relative safe haven from government censors.

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