Weua harnesses Ukrainian pride with national Facebook (or Vkontakte, if you like) alternative

weua-info-logo2These past 8 or 9 months have undoubtedly been some of the most difficult in the history of independent Ukraine and it has certainly made an impact on the local startup community. Ukrainians have taken to social networks in recent years, as have many people around the globe, but popular choices have been Russian-founded VK (formerly Vkontakte, which means “In contact”) and Odnoklassniki (meaning “classmates”).

As a result of the conflict, anti-Russian sentiment has increased in parts of the country and Ukrainians have searched for an alternative. Within the past year, we have thus witnessed a number of new players, including SocialFace (a general Facebook rival), Zine (a Twitter-like service), and Ukrainian-exclusive Facebook competitor UkrainciWeua, which is free to end-users, was conceived in Autumn 2013 and then officially launched on April 1 of this year.

Registering on Weua, users will find features that you can frequently find on other services. Users have the ability to share videos, photos, comments, and more. Users can also share audio files, which is a feature familiar to those with profiles on Vkontakte.

In order to find friends on the service, you can either search for them directly or look at the directory of users who have signed up. Since, then it has managed to attract more than 186K users.

Weua, a Ukraine-focused social network, offers Ukrainians an alternative to Facebook and its Russian counterparts. Bohdan Oliyarchuk, founder of the service, tells me that they are hoping to convince their Ukrainian compatriots to boycott the Russian services.

The project has been bootstrapped to this point and Oliyarchuk says that the team behind it works on a volunteer basis, driven by a love of their country. They are planning to launch WeUa 2.0, but those anticipating its launch will have to wait 4-6 months.

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