Articles & Notes — May 20, 2012 at 2:23 pm

Which film characters are most popular in social networks?

This is something I noticed, and have been researching for a year or so. In case you did not know, there’s a big (and still growing) Russian social network called “Odnoklassniki” (aka Classmates).

At first the website was as small private project, which later started to grow, and turned into a multi-billion social network.

On the network, there’s a “view who’s online” screen, where a logged user is allowed to browse anyone in “Odnoklassniki” who is currently online (either logged from a mobile device or PC), and there are these small picture thumbnails with user’s name under it, ordered by a list.

I’ve noticed that frequently a user uses a picture thumbnail with a picture from a particular film, rather than his/her own photo. I’ve spent some time to see who of the film characters is the most popular “thumbnail” in the network. And here’s what I found (roughly):

Every 5-10 male users from every 100 male users put actor Scott Adkins’ character Yuri Boyka (from film Undisputed 2) photo as their main profile picture. Boyka is a Russian prisoner in a Russian prison, a superb fighter, tough as nails, self-proclaimed “best fighter in the world”.

Every 2-3 male users from every 100 users put Al Pacino’s photo from “ScarFace” (Tony Montana character) as their main profile picture. This can be explained by the fact that despite being an antihero, Tony Montana is what some men (or boys) would want to become: deal drugs, get rich fast, never back down from anybody, get whatever you want, live as an outlaw. While Pacino made history with the film and his character, such people in real life are not easy to be around with.

Other characters or actors that were also spotted but used much less: Jason Statham (actor), Bruce Lee (just photos), Jean-Claude Van Damme (actor), Macaulay Culkin (character from his Home Alone film), Ashvariya Ray (beautiful Indian actress), Jackie Chan (actor).

So, now we can claim that Russian speaking users of “Odnoklassniki” like “Yuri Boyka” and “Tony Montana”. I assume their age varies from 17 to 30 maximum. Majority of them are from Russian Federation.

Odnoklassniki is a social network service for classmates and old friends reunion popular in Russia and other former Soviet Republics. It was created by Albert Popkov in 2006.

In 2011, Odnoklassniki had roughly over 100 million of registered users. Daily, the website is being visited by roughly 30-35 million people. Most of the registered users are from Russian Federation.

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