As integration of Internet-based social networking sites (SNSs) becomes increasingly popular in foreign language classrooms, the use of SNSs is particularly critical in the context of teaching less commonly taught languages, where students' exposure to the target language and its users is usually limited or even minimal. A foreign language educator, however, should be cautioned against the seemingly culturally unbiased nature of social networking environments. Recent studies show that, in online community spaces, cultural values and norms are established using methods similar to those of offline communities (see, for example, Hanna & de Nooy, 2003, 2009; Pasfield-Neofitou, 2011). We designed a project spanning two semesters that brought a rich and authentic target language social networking community, VKontakte, into Russian beginning and intermediate college-level classes. At the same time, we provided continuous structured guidance and regular opportunities for American students to reflect individually and in groups on their emerging insights into culturally determined uniqueness of the VKontakte online community. The students created their own profile pages, worked with students in partner universities in Russia and the Ukraine to complete weekly communicative tasks in Russian, and participated in online discussion forums. Analysis of students' weekly reflections and interactions with keypals appears to show that, over the course of the project, students developed more sensitivity to culturally salient features of the Russia-based social-networking community. Yet, the instructor's guidance was instrumental in developing culturally appropriate interpretation of Russian online culture. In conclusion, we will discuss the rewards and challenges of integrating social networking projects into foreign language classroom instruction.