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VK, the famous social networking site, was originally known as VKontakte in English.
In Russian, VK was known as ВКонтакте. The English meaning of the site is "InContact" or "InTouch." Currently, VK is officially offered in English, Russian, and Ukrainian. Over sixty languages are unofficially supported. Launched by by Pavel Durov in 2006, VK was originally invite-only through universities. From February 2007 through July 2007, the site grew by approximately 900,000 users. By 2008, the competing social network, Odnoklassniki, was overtaken by VK's 10 million users. With its rapid success, VK currently has over 195 million accounts. Alexa's Global Rank for the site is #25. According the Alexa, VK is the second-most popular website.
Yadex.ru, a search engine, takes position #1 as the most popular Russian website.
Today, VK is owned entirely by a company called Doraview Limited, based in the British Virgin Islands. According to a JP Morgan study in 2011, Pavel Durov still retains 12% ownership.
The largest percentage of ownership belongs to Mail.ru at nearly 40%. Mail.ru owns a percentage of social networking sites MoiMir and Odnoklassniki.ru. VK originally had plans for a stock market launch (IPO), but this was decided against due to Facebook's unsatisfactory stock results. VK's 2011 revenue was reportedly $152 million dollars.
Like Facebook, VK's main features involve communication through a main sharing screen (the wall) with status updates, link, picture and private message sharing. Music and video can also be uploaded by users for streaming. VK makes it easy to find and connect with friends, classmates, family members, and acquaintances.
Twitter-like hashtags are supported for aggregating relevant news content. For discussion-board style communication, Groups can be established around a central theme. In comparison, Public pages are meant for celebrities and companies to market products. Sharing "likes" is also possible, although VK makes such favorited content private by default. Users have full control over their privacy settings.
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