Facebook plans to dominate Russia's social networks through apps

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Facebook plans to dominate Russia's social networks through apps

While Facebook is effectively the default social network in many countries, that's not true in Russia -- it frequently plays second fiddle to local service VKontakte and old-school LiveJournal blogs. The company thinks it knows how to crack this nut, however: apps. The internet giant tells Business Insider that it's persuading Russian developers to write games and other web-based titles that might lure people away. It's hoping that the potential of reaching a wider audience will be hard to resist. You may please Muscovites by producing for VKontakte, but you could capture a global audience through a smash hit on Facebook.

Whether or not the strategy works is up in the air. Russia is fond of homegrown technology, and that's reinforced by a government that makes life difficult for foreign companies. However, Facebook is optimistic. It notes that Eastern Europe is home to very successful, internationally-minded developers like Wargaming; it wouldn't be a big stretch to imagine the next Candy Crush Saga emerging from a St. Petersburg startup. If nothing else, it's clear that Mark Zuckerberg and crew won't settle for anything less than first place.

[Image credit: AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev]

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