With more than 166 million installations in Russia since 2014, the social network for sharing photos, videos, stories and reels has officially been blocked by Russia, a blow for more than 80 million users and Meta, the home mother of Instagram.
According to Adam Mosserithe leader of Instagram, this decision implemented since March 14 would affect more than 80 million Russian Internet users.
About 80% of Russian Instagram users follow at least one Instagram account outside of their country.
The move followed Meta’s decision to temporarily ease its terms and conditions to allow opponents of the war in Ukraine to have their voices heard.
What alternatives for Russian Internet users?
Although Instagram is a very popular application in Russia, not all social networks are currently blocked.
Among the alternatives, Russians will still be able to use “foreign” social networks Pinterest, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube or Russian social networks like Vk.com (Vkontakte, the Russian alternative to Facebook), OK (Odnoklassniki) and Rutube (the Russian YouTube).
For Russian Internet users who used Instagram instant messaging, WhatsApp having also been blocked from Internet users living in Russia, the latter will be able to use Telegram and Signaltwo competing secure messaging apps that also offer encryption of all conversations.
Using a VPN, the key alternative to circumventing Russian censorship?
Although the Russian government can ban certain social networks from most of its Internet users, it cannot impose its decisions on VPN users.
These software (such as NordVPN, PureVPN, IvacyVPN, Brave VPN, etc.) make it possible, among other things, to overcome blockages and restrictions imposed on certain IPs by using foreign IPs to browse the Internet.
These services, available both in the form of mobile applications or software to be installed on your computer, are a good solution for the most knowledgeable Russian Internet users who wish to circumvent the restrictions and be able to use the social networks blocked in their country.