Internet, social networks and VPN

68% of respondents access the Internet every day, the growth of users is observed in all age groups, except for respondents aged 18-24. Nevertheless, for most, television remains the main source of information. Over the past month, more than a quarter of respondents have faced the inability to access familiar digital services. About a quarter of all respondents use VPN services, in the group of 18-24 years – half.

Television remains the main source of information: as the main way to receive news, it was noted by 70% of respondents (6 percentage points more than in January 2021). The share of those who noted social networks and online publications as the main source of news was 38% and 30%, respectively. The largest decrease (9 percentage points compared to January 2021) was shown by the audience of online publications.

As sources of information, respondents most of all trust television (54%), Internet publications (17%) and social networks (15%). Compared to January 2021, trust in television increased by 10 percentage points, trust in online publications and social networks, on the contrary, decreased by 9 percentage points.

The share of respondents using the Internet on a daily basis continues to gradually increase: 57% – in November 2018, 65% – in November 2019, 68% – in March 2022.

The share of daily Internet users increased in three of the four age groups: in the group of 25-39 years – up to 91% (in November 2019 – 89%), in the group of 40-54 years – up to 76% (in November 2019 – 69%), in the group of 55 years and older – up to 40% (in November 2019 – 34%). Among respondents aged 18-24, the share of active Internet users was up to 89%.

More than a quarter (27%) of respondents over the past month have faced the inability to access familiar digital services: 13% – regularly, 19% – several times, 5% – 1-2 times a month. 61% of respondents did not encounter it.

The largest share (68%) of those who have encountered such problems is represented in the 18-24 age group: 28% – regularly, 33% – several times, 7% – 1-2 times a month. Among respondents aged 25-39, half of the respondents (54%) noted such a problem.

About a quarter (23%) of respondents use a VPN to access Internet resources: 10% – regularly, 13% – sometimes. Another 28% are aware of such services, but do not use them. Almost half (46%) hear about VPN for the first time.

The respondents aged 18-24 use VPNs the most: 23% – regularly, 24% – sometimes. In the age group of 25-39 years, these services are used by 34%, in the group of 40-54 years – 26%, in the group of 55 years and older – 6%.

More than half (53%) of respondents visit social networks daily or almost daily, another 11% – several times a week, 9% – 1 time a week or less. Compared to January 2021, the share of daily users of social networks decreased by 4 percentage points

The TOP 3 social networks by popularity among users included: VK (65%), YouTube (46%) and Odnoklassniki (40%). The most significant growth in the number of users was shown by VK (an increase of 21 percentage points compared to March 2021), Tik Tok (by 18 percentage points, more than twice) and Odnoklassniki (by 10 percentage points). Instagram and Facebook, which have been banned in Russia, are used by 23% (in March 2021 – 34%) and 6% (in March 2021 – 10%) of respondents, respectively.

Among messengers, the largest user growth is noted in Telegram (8% in April 2018, 21% in March 2021, 37% in March 2022) and WhatsApp (36% in April 2018, 64% in March 2021, 66% in March 2022). There is a decline among users of other most popular applications for calls and messaging (Viber, Skype).


The survey by the Levada Center was conducted March 24 – 30 2022, among a representative sample of all Russian urban and rural residents. The sample was comprised of 1632 people aged 18 or older in 137 municipalities of 50 regions of the Russian Federation. The survey was conducted as a personal interview in respondents’ homes. The answer distribution is presented as percentages of the total number of participants along with data from previous surveys.

The statistical error of these studies for a sample of 1600 people (with a probability of 0.95) does not exceed:

3.4% for indicators around 50%

2.9% for indicators around 25%/75%

2.0% for indicators around 10%/90%

1.5% for indicators around 5%/95%

The ANO Levada Center is included in the registry of non-commercial organizations acting as foreign agents.


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