How and for what do Ukrainians pay in social networks and messengers

Alyona Shevtsova
4 min readJul 16, 2021


While Americans are chatting in Messenger and sending free SMS, and the TikTok audience in India is growing rapidly, I reviewed the Ukrainian market of social networks and messengers. Multicolored icons in our phones not only made life easier, but also became an important part of our time, and therefore affect our consumption. Kyivstar made a very cool analysis of the Ukrainian users’ preferences and formed a rating of social networks and messengers in the domestic market. I made hypotheses about the reasons for their popularity, and also noted their contribution to the fintech sphere.

Rating of messengers:

Viber (12 million operator subscribers)

Viber is one of the first messengers. Simultaneously with Whatsapp and Skype, they solved the problem of paid calls abroad, allowing people to communicate remotely. Viber was the first to release an Android application, which helped it become the leader in the Ukrainian market (70% of Android OS).

You can pay in the messenger through Chatbot Payments, which is also available in Ukraine. Viber users not only write in parents’ chats, but also pay for electricity in YASNO, Synevo medical tests, and so on. Viber also offers top-ups, subscriptions, and more.

Facebook Messenger (11 million operator subscribers)

Facebook has developed its own messenger — more precisely, moved the message section into a separate product, making a common name as a brand name. This fact justifies the Facebook Messenger audience size, prevalence and acceptance.

But the most interesting thing is just related to Facebook Pay — a unified payment system for Facebook, Messenger, Instagram, Whatsapp services. With its help, users can transfer money to friends, pay for goods in the marketplace section and tickets for events, collect and make donations, make purchases in games and built-in applications. This is a whole fintech world inside the Facebook universe, which I wrote about earlier.

Telegram (6 million operator subscribers)

The most popular messenger for constant communication in Ukraine is Telegram, it is chosen by 6 million subscribers. 32% use Telegram for work communication.

Payment bots have existed on Telegram since 2017. They help pay for goods and services like pizza delivery without leaving the app. And you can even leave a tip. As of 2021, merchants can accept credit card payments using built-in payment systems in any chat, including groups and channels. The payment platform is considered safe and convenient, as Telegram does not store payment information and does not take commissions.

WhatsApp (approximately 5 million operator subscribers)

WhatsApp is the most popular messenger in the world. However, in January 2021, the privacy policy was updated. Under the new rules, the company will transfer some user data to its parent company — Facebook. If refused, WhatsApp will not work. Under these circumstances, many Ukrainian users stopped using the messenger, mostly moving to Telegram. Payment transactions in WhatsApp take place through the aforementioned Facebook Pay system and have the same functionality.

Social media rating:

# 1: Facebook and YouTube (13 million Kyivstar subscribers each month)

Facebook is one of the first social networks, YouTube is one of the first video hosting sites. Everything is clear, they became pioneers in niches, which is why they gained such popularity.

But what’s new in the payments’ area? We’ve already talked about Facebook Pay. YouTube, on the other hand, hasn’t been developing its own payment solution. The hosting platform works with Google’s Adsense, through which it makes payouts to content makers.

# 2: Instagram (10 million operator subscribers)

Almost all of us are familiar with Instagram. The popularity of the social network has provoked the emergence of many third-party services designed to integrate with it — services for content creation, analytics and advertising. In terms of payments, we still use Facebook Pay to pay for goods on this social network.

# 3: Twitter (7 million operator subscribers)

Twitter is also a social media pioneer (2006). It has a diverse but highly distinctive audience in Ukraine: politicians, singers, journalists, etc. This March the Bitcoin payment service Bottlepay came out of beta mode and launched a function on Twitter to send payments, tips and donations in cryptocurrency. In the future, they plan to introduce other fiat currencies, primarily the euro. We’ll see how that goes.

# 4: TikTok (5.5 million operator subscribers)

And, of course, the most viral TikTok. They’ve managed to grab the attention not only of a young audience, but also of a busy generation of millennials. The reasons are new algorithms and technologies, political connotations, ambitious and expensive communication, and brand marketing.

The video service has its own coins. Users can earn them during live broadcasts, send them to their favorite bloggers, exchange them, withdraw them from the application for real money. Blowing motives of “Black Mirror”? This is a progressive project, revolutionizing the world of online entertainment, primarily because of its content ranking system.

We admit that the competitive environment generates new products almost every month and makes adjustments to the fintech industry. Messengers and social media are shaping our consumer habits. Fortunately, the Ukrainian market and talented technical teams are quickly adapting innovative solutions and mastering the latest technologies.



Alyona Shevtsova

CEO of the international payment system LEO, the shareholder of IBOX Bank