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29.05.2014 - Forum unveils state search engine: 'social orientation, services and widgets' for citizens
Rostelecom communications provider has launched a beta version of a multi-function, user-friendly state search engine, designed to bring official institutions and the nation's citizens closer together.
The product reckoned as a result of $20 million in investment funding has been unveiled at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

It combines a search engine with "plenty of socially oriented services and widgets," and is designed to help people in their dealings with state authorities, the telecommunications company’s vice president, Alexei Basov, told ITAR-TASS. Filters will guard users from spam, pornography, extremism and search manipulation, he said.

Company executives bill Sputnik as a device to aid families less-active on the Internet and facing the unrolling challenge of new technology as the web expands.

Media commentators also speculate that the idea of a state search engine was conceived among Russian presidential staff after the military operation forcing Georgia to make peace with South Ossetia in 2008.

Technology journalists say the development of better public information sources was deemed necessary when search engines probed during the conflict referred users to online media which challenged Russian policy at the time.

Sputnik can achieve a rate of return if it takes at least one percent of the Russian market for contextual advertising, Raiffeisenbank analyst Sergey Libin says. The market was worth $1.5 billion last year and was expected to reach $2 billion by 2015, he added.