Russian 'flower rentals' for International Women's Day

People buying flowers at a market in Moscow Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption International Women's Day means a boom in flower sales in Russia - but some social media users want to show off a bigger bouquet

Russians who want to impress their social media followers can now rent huge bouquets of flowers for just long enough to snap an Instagram-worthy photo, it's reported.

Pop-up services are advertising on social networks in preparation for International Women's Day on 8 March, a public holiday in Russia when women are traditionally feted with flowers and other gifts. They're offering 10 minutes with an enormous bouquet - enough time to perfect the best angle and pose - before the courier takes it back, the TJournal news website reports. One account is offering women a fleeting visit from 101 roses for 700 roubles ($12; £10).

Posting selfies with huge bouquets seemingly sent by a boyfriend or secret admirer has been a trend among Russian Instagram and VKontakte social network users for some time.

The 360 TV website contacted the owner of one flower-rental Instagram account, who insisted his service was real and had received many requests. He says the 10 minutes can be extended a little, but not indefinitely. "The most important thing to avoid is: 'I'm going to put some make up on and tidy up' and all that'," he says.

Another account that 360 TV contacted turned out to be a joke set up to mock the new trend, and there was plenty of ridicule from Russians commenting online. "The secret of a mysterious bunch of flowers from a stranger has been EXPOSED," writes one person on Twitter. "This is the quintessence of modern values", says an Instagram user, who suggests a similar service aimed at men: "A Rolex watch, two iPhones on the table and a selfie taken in a Moscow office with a panoramic view."

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