A group of Russian developers are set to launch their own version of Instagram, after the social media app was banned by the Kremlin.
The app – which is called Rossgram – was recently revealed ahead of its planned investor launch on 28 March, and let’s just say its pretty obvious where the inspiration came from.
According to images of the app available on Rossgram’s website, the platform looks nearly identical to Instagram, from the layout and symbols down to the pink and orange logo.
Rossgram doesn’t exactly shy away from the similarities either, describing itself as ‘a new social network with a familiar and understandable interface, rich features, and simple working conditions.’
In a post on the popular Russian messaging app VK, the app’s co-founder Alexander Zobov said his team of developers were directly responding to the decision to block most Russians from accessing Instagram, explaining they were ‘ready for this turn of events and decided not to miss the opportunity to create a Russian analog of a popular social network beloved by our compatriots.’
The app is set to launch to investors, sponsors and the media next week, before eventually becoming available for use by influencers and bloggers at a date that is yet to be announced.
The move comes after the Kremlin moved to ban Instagram from Russia in what is widely viewed as an attempt to prevent Russian citizens from accessing information about the war in Ukraine.
On Tuesday, a Russian court upheld the ban on Facebook and Instagram, finding parent company Meta guilty of ‘extremist activity.’
Instagram was one of Russia’s most popular social media platforms, with many influencers and business owners in the country reliant on the app for income.
Following the news that the app would be blocked on 14 March, a number of bloggers shared tearful messages to their pages asking why they were being banned from the platform.
“I’m in a state of resentment and nowhere near a state of acceptance,” one fashion blogger with more than three million followers said.
In a video, one of Russia’s biggest reality TV stars, Olga Buzova, told her 23.3 million followers: “I did not do this all as a job for me, this is a part of my soul. It feels like a big part of my heart, and my life is being taken away from me.”