Vkontakte founder Pavel Durov said to be creating an alternative social network in the US
The Vkontakte drama saw new developments this weekend with TV Rain’s Leonid Parfenov – one of Russia’s most renowned journalists – asserting on his Sunday program that Pavel Durov, the co-founder and CEO of Russia’s leading social network, is currently in Buffalo, NY, “obviously with no intention of returning to Russia.”
The journalist linked Durov’s alleged escape to the criminal investigation opened by the Russian authorities following an incident with the St. Petersburg traffic police. Durov has been involved as a witness in the investigation, which has led to no indictment so far.
Parfenov added that Durov and other top managers at Vkontakte were currently working on a new social network project named Telegra.ph and conducted by Digital Fortress, Durov’s alleged new company registered in the state of New York. Noting that the company had ordered servers with the capacity to serve millions of users simultaneously, the journalist openly suggested that this new social network may lure away “millions and millions of Vkontakte users.”
Leonid Parfenov’s TV program on Sunday: fresh revelations or gutter rumors?
Durov categorically denied Parfenov’s assertions, calling them “pure delirium.”
Vkontakte’s press officer stated officially that Durov “has not, and never had, any intention to emigrate,” and that “Durov and his team are still working on the Vkontakte project.”
A member of Parfenov’s team noted, however, that the revelations on Durov’s current location in the US as well as those on their new project in Buffalo have not been explicitly dismissed.
Russia’s leading social network, Vkontakte – also known as VK.com – served more than 52 million Russian users from 12 to 64 years of age in March 2013, according to TNS.