In December 2008 VK overtook rival Odnoklassniki as Russia's most popular social networking service.
VKontakte was incorporated on 19 January 2007 as a Russian limited liability company.
Founder and CEO Pavel Durov owned 20% of shares (although he had majority voting power through proxy votes), and a trio of Russian investors, Vyacheslav Mirilashvili (Mikhael Mirilashvili's son) and Lev Leviev, On Group announced that it has decided to yield control of the company to Durov by offering him the voting rights on its shares.
User registration was initially limited to within university circles exclusively by invitation, but the site still grew quickly.
In February 2007 the site reached a user base of over 100,000 and was recognized as the second largest player in Russia's nascent social network market.
In the same month, the site was subjected to a severe DDo S attack, which briefly put it offline.
The user base reached 1 million in July 2007, and 10 million in April 2008.
It is available in several languages, but is especially popular among Russian-speaking users.
Like other social networks, VK allows users to message each other publicly or privately, to create groups, public pages and events, share and tag images, audio and video, and to play browser-based games.
Founder Pavel Durov launched VKontakte for beta testing in September 2006, having just graduated from St Petersburg State University.
The following month, the domain name was registered.
In April 2014 Durov stated he had sold his stake in the company after "coming under increasing pressure" from federal law enforcement to hand over personal details of users who were members of a VK group dedicated to the Euromaidan protest movement.
while Lev Leviev sold his 8% share in the same deal, giving United Capital Partners 48% ownership.
In January 2014, VK's founder Pavel Durov sold his 12% stake in the company to the CEO of Megafon, which is controlled by Alisher Usmanov.