Here is my self-developed road map for Russian social networks (Moscow subway map was used as the background picture).
It is hard to attempt to provide a full overview of existing social media. This map, however, allows for a brief introduction into some well known and large networks, owned both by Russian and foreign companies. These networks can be subdivided into several categories.
1. Social networks proper, or communities of Facebook-type. I have already published some information about the three largest social networks in Russia. The market share of Facebook and Google+ is growing; however their full potential is still unclear.
2. Dating sites are similar to social networks the only difference being that dating sites promote one-on-one contacts between the users who would not otherwise get to know each other in real life.
3. LinkedIn is probably the most well-known professional network used for job hunting and building up business contacts, whereas Maxpark (formerly gidepark) provides a large share of infotainment.
4. Blogs are another type of social networks that can be used both for sharing content and exchanges on a given topic. LiveJournal is one of the most well-known blog platforms in Russia. In LiveJournal blogs are sorted according to categories and the information is from selected blogs is publicly displayed and actively discussed.
5. Media sharing platforms can be subdivided into video-sharing and photo-sharing platforms.
6. And last but not least, sites like www.mail.ru and www.yandex.ru serve as umbrella brands for a variety of networks offered (they host video-sharing platforms, blog services, as well as other types of online communities).
There are extreme difficulties regarding making a ranking of Russian social networks. First, it is very typical of Russian users to be registered in several networks simultaneously (for example, being on VKontakte and Odnoklassniki at the same time); besides, the activity level of users in a social network fluctuates depending on the network type.
As a result, the exiting rankings, which can be based on the number of registered users or active users or visits per day or even the share of mind, are hardly comparable.
Secondly, the outcome of the ranking will be severely influenced by the target group. Maxpark, for example, is one of the leading networks among the respondents in the age group 30+, whereas it is hardly known among younger people.
And finally, the situation with social media is changing so rapidly that what was true yesterday may not be true as of today.
To conclude, the landscape of social networks in Russia is rather obscure and complex, which makes social media marketing in Russia especially challenging in addition to the existing mentality and language barriers.
Update: in 2019, the most popular networks in Russia included: vKontakte, OK.ru, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.