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Russia Unveils Domestic Instagram Competitor ‘Rossgram’

Porapak Apichodilok / pexels

Developers unveiled Russia’s domestic answer to Instagram on Tuesday, just weeks after the country banned the U.S. photo-sharing app that was hugely popular among ordinary Russians.

Called Rossgram, the new app mimics many of Instagram’s trademark features, with similar icons, a dedicated bar for stories and even a similar pink-and-purple color scheme.

Cofounder Alexander Zobov showcased the Rossgram feed as part of a video marking the app’s early-access launch for investors and partners on March 28.

While many of the app’s features are easily recognizable from the Instagram newsfeed, the Rossgram team say they’ll also be working on extra add-ons including a crowdfunding function, a referral program and giving creators the ability to release premium, pay-to-access content. 

Rossgram's developers hope to replace Instagram, which was blocked in Russia on March 14 as part of authorities' wider crackdown on free speech and Western social media platforms. The app’s parent company, Meta, was later labeled an “extremist organization” by Russian authorities, who accused them of permitting “Russophobia” after the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Soon after Rossgram’s unveiling on Tuesday, developers announced NashStore (“Our Store”), a Russian equivalent of the now-blocked Google Play app store for Android.

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