Google and TNS offer portrait of typical Ukrainian Internet user

Google has revealed the results of a study of consumer behavior among Ukrainian Internet users, reports Ukrainian IT-news portal proIT. According to the report, which involved the survey of 1,000 adults (aged 16+) in in January of this year and was completed by market-research firm TNS at Google’s request, 56% of those polled state that they are regular Internet users.  However, this figure spikes to 96% when considering only those who are 16-24 years old.

The percentage of smartphone users has increased more than threefold from 7% in 2012 to 24% in 2014. 71% of Ukrainians report that they use their smartphones on a daily basis, in comparison with 69% who report daily use of computers and 67% who report daily use of tablets.

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Kyiv startup Advice Wallet secures $1.5 million from Russia’s Life.SREDA

Life.SREDA, a Moscow-based venture capital firm focusing on mobile and online fintech startups, is to invest $1.5 million in Settle, a mobile payment service developed by Kyiv (Kiev) -based startup Advice Wallet.

Combining mobile payments and a loyalty scheme in one app, Settle makes it possible to both order and then pay your bill at a restaurant or café through a smartphone. Users register via a social network and link their bank card to the app. The app displays the menu and allows clients to divide up a bill between friends, carry out P2P transactions and receive offers from establishments.

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New Ukrainian social networks emerge to challenge Facebook, VK, and Odnoklassniki in domestic market

Facebook may have established itself as a global leader in social-networking and VK (founded in Russia as Vkontakte) may have captured a strong market share in Russian speaking countries as an alternative service, but they have not stopped a host of competitors from entering the Ukrainian market. Within the past year, SocialFace, Zine, Ukrainci, Druzi, and WeUa have emerged in the country as domestic challengers to the more established players.

This past spring, several competitors to Facebook have sprung up as Ukrainians have decided to boycott Russian-founded services such as VK and Odnoklassniki. Several of these newcomers have adopted a “patriotic” approach to the social-network mold. Druzi (“Friends” in Ukrainian), for example, claims more than 215,000 users since it launched back in March.

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eBay’s Magento business under threat from continuing Ukraine crisis

The ongoing crisis in Ukraine is threatening to destabilize the operations of Magento, an open-source content management system for e-commerce web sites owned by eBay and based in Kyiv (Kiev).

In its last quarterly report for the second quarter ending June 31, 2014, eBay noted that “The current situation in Ukraine and the Crimean peninsula, along with the response of the Russian and United States governments to this situation, have the potential to adversely affect our operations in Ukraine. In addition, many of our employees in Ukraine could be required to serve in the military for extended periods of time under emergency circumstances, which could disrupt our Magento business.”

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Ukrainian social media advertising agency AdCenter acquired by US agency VertaMedia

New York-based VertaMedia, an online marketing agency, last week announced the acquisition of AdCenter for $400,000. Based in Odessa, AdCenter organizes targeted ad campaigns on Russian-language social networks including Vkontakte (VK.com) and Odnoklassninki.ru.

The agency serves Ukrainian as well as Russian clients via an office in Krasnogorsk in the Moscow region. The AdCenter site currently operates solely in Russian, but an English-language version will be created.

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Miratech announces opening of development center in Slovakia

Earlier this month Miratech, a Kiyv (Kiev)-headquartered IT outsourcing companies operating in several European countries and the United States, announced that they have opened a new development center in Slovakia.

The opening of this center will allow the firm to attract English, French, and German-speaking engineers in order to better serve clients in Western European countries, offer government IT-investment support programs, provide technical education at local universities, and more.

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Ukrainian patriots take to Facebook to vent anger at German chancellor and French president

As Ukraine experiences one of  the most difficult stretches in its young history as an independent state, it came as a surprise to many Ukrainians when German chancellor Angela Merkel was spotted sitting and talking with Russian president Vladimir Putin recently at the World Cup in Brazil, while French president Francois Hollande refused to cancel the impending sale of two warships to Russia.

Taking issue at what they consider to be a betrayal, a number of Ukrainian social media users then took to the Facebook pages of these Western leaders to vent their anger.

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Google announces expansion of All Access Music service to Ukraine

Google announced last week that they are expanding their All Access Music service to Ukraine among five other countries – Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, and Peru. With this latest move, Ukraine joins Russia as the only former Soviet republics with access to the service.

The All Access Music service launched last summer as a streaming music platform to compete with Pandora, Spotify, and others and has since expanded to dozens of countries around the globe.

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President Poroshenko promises 3G and 4G soon: Their implementation was held up by corruption

In a meeting met with representatives of public organizations last week, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he was astounded that Ukraine was one of the last countries in the world where 4G technology has not been implemented and 3G is weakly deployed.

The introduction of modern 3G and 4G communications technologies will quickly have a positive influence on the economy, he believes.

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Microsoft Ukraine GM joins presidential administration to carry out reforms

Microsoft Ukraine general manager Dmitry Shimkiv, who was an active participant in the Maidan Revolution, was appointed deputy head of the presidential administration for administrative, social and economic reform last week.

According to Ukrainian media, Shimkiv’s first task in his new post will be to reform the structure of the presidential administration so as to raise its efficiency and performance as much as possible. The scope of his activities will include not only economic reform, but a wider range of issues as well.

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