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© Сollage by RIA Novosti

Twitter use snowballing in Russia

by at 23/12/2011 19:14

Twitter’s Russian-language auditorium has nearly doubled in the last four months, Yandex search engine’s blog specialists announced on Friday. RIA Novosti reported that the blog analysts had calculated that there were 1.85 million Russian-language accounts, while at the beginning of August there was only approximately 1 million.

 

Take the charts by storm

The English-speaking world has been intrigued by the appearance of Russian-language hash-tag trends that with increasing frequency have been storming up the Twitter trends tables. A hash-tag needs 10,000-20,000 mentions in the space of an hour to make it into the charts.

 

Rainy days make the grade

The first Russian-language hashtag to trend on Twitter was the word “Dozhd,” or “Rain,” which occurred on July 20, 2010, when a heat wave that had been gripping the country was broken by a rainstorm. The appearance of the foreign word caused much confusion, with people outside the Russian-speaking world asking what the word meant, eliciting various humorous responses from quick-witted Russians, such as “dozhd is the name of Putin’s new pet,” “dozhd is the name of new Russian nuclear bomb,” and “dozhd is a time when the vodka falls from the sky and polar bears begin to walk on the red square with AK47.”

 

Putin’s birthday

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s birthday on Oct. 7 this year led to a Cyrillic-script Twitter virtual flash mob. The hashtag #CпасибоПутинуЗаЭто, which can be translated as “thank Putin for that,” went viral when pro-Kremlin United Russia party member Vladimir Burmatov decided to congratulate the premier with the ironic tweet: “The summer hasn’t left Moscow yet, thank Putin for that.” The slogan, which mimicked an ironic Soviet-era joke, went on to generate countless similar tweets such, “Russia leaves the souls of poets dead, thank Putin for that,” and “Have no money for the flat, thank Putin for that.”

 

Elections and phone-ins

It was this December, however, that Russian really stormed the Twitter charts. The Dec. 4 State Duma elections saw the words “выборы” (elections), “Путин” (Putin), "ЧП" (emergency), among others make the top of the pops. Putin’s live phone-in press event led to a Russian language Twitter storm with more than 10 Russian words surging up the charts in the space of several hours.

 

Medvedev tops 800,000

On Dec. 19, President Dmitry Medvedev saw the number of subscribers to his Russian language tweets surpass the 800,000 mark. His English-language tweets have 147,000 subscribers. 

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