The heart of tech

This article was published on November 2, 2008


    Odnoklassniki.ru introduces SMS payments for monetization and security

    Odnoklassniki.ru introduces SMS payments for monetization and security
    Ernst-Jan Pfauth
    Story by

    Ernst-Jan Pfauth

    Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He a Ernst-Jan Pfauth is the former Editor in Chief of Internet at NRC Handelsblad, as well as an acclaimed technology author and columnist. He also served as The Next Web’s blog’s first blogger and Editor in Chief, back in 2008. At De Correspondent, Ernst-Jan serves as publisher, fostering the expansion of the platform.

    Leading Russian social network Odnoklassniki.ru has recently welcomed Mr. Monetization Nikita Sherman as their new CEO. The man owes his reputation to his work at online dating platform Mamba.ru. He managed to turn that site into a very profitable one by launching several premium services. The result? Less than 15 percent of Mamba’s revenues came from online advertising. The users paid for dating, not the advertisers.


    Nikita Sherman

    Not surprisingly, the first thing Sherman did at Odnoklassniki’s, was introducing payment options. Quintura reports that if one of the 22 million registered members wants to use his account actively – meaning he’ll be able to send messages or browse to profiles -, he’ll have to pay about $1.3 via a SMS message.

    The spam excuse

    Of the 22 million users, six million members log in on a daily basis. A fairly large share of the other 16 million users consists of spammers who capitalize on high site usage once they’re active. So Sherman blamed these spammers for the $1.3 activation costs. My guess is that the average spammer is willing to make this investment.

    Become invisible, pay four dollars

    Anyhow, Sherman’s payment creativity goes further than just the activation costs. He also installed premium services like becoming ‘invisible’ and being able to upload more than a hundred photos. Prices vary between four and five dollars.

    Revenue will skyrocket

    Without a doubt, Odnoklassniki.ru’s revenue will skyrocket. Like I said, six million people log in every day. If the service is so important to them, they’re willing to pay as much as 15 dollars for the full Odnoklassniki experience. Imagine only a quarter of these six million Russians did that, it would still mean a $22.5 million boost.