Russian Realty: Rent Or Buy With Vkontakte/Sberbank

The Russian real-estate market is set for some disruption as social media platform Vkontakte have introduced a micro-app, DomClick, in partnership with Sberbank.

Vkontakte is one of the more popular social media networks in Russia, with an estimated 83% penetration rate. For comparison, Facebook holds a penetration rate in Russia of 39%, and Twitter 19%.

DomClick from Sberbank is a service for finding housing and safely conducting transactions with it. You can use it in a separate mobile application, a service inside VK, as well as on the DomClick.ru website.

This addition is the latest in Mail.ru group’s plan to turn Vkontakte into a “super-app”.

This will surely disrupt the traditional user journey in which Russian users both buy/sell, and rent/lease properties, and the application already has more than 1.5-million listings from all over Russia.

Application screenshots taken from Vkontakte press release

The low-barrier to usage means that there is no requirement for users to download additional applications, as they can access DomClick and all it’s data directly from the Vkontakte mobile application.

Becoming A Super App

In Fall 2019, Mail.ru Group outlined plans to turn Vkontakte into a “super app”, and provide not only the social networking functions, but also provide services such as finance, entertainment, and business functions.

In a statement provided to RBC, Mail.ru Group said that:

We believe that VKontakte has every prospect of becoming a superapp. The development of superapps based on our ecosystem, payment systems and other related products will be the highest priority for the next three years.

A “super [email protected] is an application that combines many functions and allows a person to satisfy various needs on one screen: communication, entertainment, financial, business.

The first such services appeared in China, these are the WeChat messenger developed by the IT holding Tencent and the AliPay service from the Alibaba Group. Now these applications combine functions such as:

  • Peer-to-peer messengers
  • Social networks
  • Online trading
  • Ordering food and taxis
  • Currency exchange/FOREX

In the European and American markets, we have seen Facebook make similar changes over time to their platform, with additions such as Facebook Pay, Facebook Storefronts, and advancements to the Messenger function for user-to-business communications.

Dan Taylor
Dan Taylor is an experienced SEO consultant and has worked with brands and companies on optimizing for Russia (and Yandex) for a number of years. Winner of the inaugural 2018 TechSEO Boost competition, webmaster at HreflangChecker.com and Sloth.Cloud, and founder of RussianSearchNews.com.