Vkontakte, the social media website, has decided to charge for commercial applications on their platform. This move brings commercial applications into the same category as ‘sponsored’ applications, that has previously been charged.
Now all businesses who want to launch applications on Vkontakte for promotional purposes will need to sign a contract with the company. They will also need to pay a daily fee, the level depending on whether they include external links in their application or not.
The fee is 0.035r (without external links) or 0.070r (with external links) per visitor. A minimum fee will be 3500r or $118 (without external links) and 7000r or $236 (with external links) per day. All prices include VAT. There will be a minimum placement period of 14 days and users will be told they are using a commercial application.
It’s a bold move from Vkontakte who must assume this fee will be small-change to brands looking to promote themselves on the platform. Even a minimum charge of 49’000r ($1656) or 100’000r ($3380) will hit small campaign budgets hard.
In this author’s opinion, this was not a smart more by Vkontakte. While it may bring in money in the short-term, it will push commercial usage to Facebook where this activity is free. They may have just chased off many high-quality content producers. Vkontakte just provides a platform, in the long-term the content determines the audience engagement.