Over the past five years, social media usage has almost doubled. It is currently one of the best places to scale your businesses. The average American spends at least 2 hours a day on popular social media. This is one of the reasons why social media marketing is one of the best ways to grow your business.
Every new year, there’s a new craze, a new trend, and a new social media app that keeps users addicted to their screens. Savvy digital marketers have taken the opportunity to utilize this ever-green industry to boost sales of their products.
Affiliate marketers, bloggers, vloggers, writers all use social media to promote their service. About 71% percent of buying decisions by customers in the US are influenced by social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
If you’re looking to tap into this pool of red-hot social media sites, we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the top 15 most popular social media sites you can use to help scale your business. Let’s dive in.
Top Social Media Platforms
|2.8 billion subscribers||facebook.com|
|Youtube||2.29 billion subscribers||youtube.com|
|2 billion subscribers||whatsapp.com|
|Facebook Messenger||1.4 billion subscribers||messenger.com|
|1.22 billion subscribers||instagram.com|
|Weixin/WeChat||1.213 billion subscribers||wechat.com|
|TikTok||689 million subscribers||tiktok.com|
|617 million subscribers||international.qq.com|
|Douyin||600 million subscribers||douyin.com|
|Sina Weibo||511 million subscribers||weibo.com|
|Telegram||500 million subscribers||telegram.org|
|Snapchat||498 million subscribers||snapchat.com|
|Kuaishou||481 million subscribers||kuaishou.com|
|442 mIllIon subscribers||pinterest.com|
|430 million subscribers||reddit.com|
We calculate the popularity of social media sites by the number of active users. It’s a common factor generally used in the social media industry to calculate a company’s popularity, engagement, and growth. Please note that the number of active users is different from the number of overall users. Here is a list of the top 15 most popular social media platforms:
1. Facebook – 2.8 Billion Active Users
Facebook is undoubtedly the powerhouse of social media. Pretty much the entire population of the Earth with a smartphone is on Facebook. It took Facebook just ten months since its launch to reach a million subscribers and took just eight years to reach a billion. Currently, Facebook boasts of over 2.8 billion active subscribers, a figure that increases by 500,000 every day.
Brands and marketers can utilize their daily visits of 1.7 billion to promote products and services. Big brands often run paid ads on the platform, allowing them to advertise their products as long as their cash can carry them.
2. Youtube – 2.29 Billion Active Users
With an estimated membership of 2.29 billion, Youtube is the second most popular social media site globally. Youtube is a video-sharing website allowing registered and non-registered users to enjoy Youtube content. However, this feature makes it inaccurate to estimate the actual visits of the platform.
Youtube was launched in 2005 to be a dating service but grew in leaps and bounds to become the most popular video-sharing platform globally. Like Facebook, Youtube allows customers to run ads; these ads are infused with the content and can be displayed at specific timestamps depending on how long the content is.
3. Whatsapp – 2 Billion Active Users
Whatsapp was founded in 2009 by two former Yahoo employees. Initially, the goal of this platform was not to be an instant messaging app but rather one that shows the status of users next to their entry in an address book. As fate would have it, the app evolved into the most widely used instant messaging app. In 2014, Whatsapp was acquired by Facebook for $16 billion.
Whatsapp is one of the three social media sites with a membership of over 2 billion. Unlike most social media sites, Whatsapp does not include any form of advertising model in the app, but this hasn’t stopped it from being the most used IM app in the world.
4. Facebook Messenger – 1.4 Billion Active Users
Facebook has definitely blown away the social media industry by having two of its applications in the top 4 of the most popular social media sites. Messenger was previously called “Facebook Chat.” It was basically an Instant messaging feature embedded into the Facebook environment in 2008.
On realizing that “Facebook Chat” could become another hit, Facebook overhauled the service two years later and renamed it “Facebook Messenger.” Messenger, unlike WhatsApp, integrates an advertising model into its system’s functionality. One which is currently used by over 40 million registered businesses worldwide.
Messenger is surprisingly more popular in the United States, with about 56.8% of users preferring the platform than Whatsapp’s 12.1% users.
5. Instagram – 1.22 Billion Active Users
Instagram was founded in 2009 by a former Google employee, Kevin Systrom, and since then has become the world’s most popular photo-sharing app. Initially, Kevin designed the app to attract whiskey and bourbon lovers into a broader picture. An early seed round fundraiser allowed Kevin to launch the app successfully.
In April 2012, Facebook acquired Instagram for $1 billion, and that same month, Instagram grew its user base to over 35 million subscribers. Three months later, that figure grew to 80 million, and four years later, it achieved a remarkable 500 million active subscribers. Instagram is very popular in marketing, advertising, brand promotion, and a lot more services.
6. Weixin/WeChat – 1.213 Billion Active Users
WeChat is a fantastic all-in-one app that allows users to do virtually anything possible with a social media site. This includes sending and receiving texts, playing games, video calls, and even processing digital payments.
WeChat is a very resourceful app that even though the Chinese government censors and monitors all activities on the app, it still has over a billion active users. Despite WeChat being a censored app, it has grown in leaps and bounds.
Surprisingly, WeChat is very popular among elderly folks. In 2018, 98.9% of Chinese mobile users between ages 50 to 80 were all registered on the network. While folks age 60 use 50% of their mobile data on the app. Social media marketers in the US see WeChat as a possible marketing avenue in the near future.
7. TikTok – 689 Million Active Users
When it comes to overnight success, TikTok is no stranger. The platform was launched just over four years ago in 2017 and quickly started garnering subscribers worldwide. Just two years after the launch of TikTok, it was in the top 5 most downloaded apps on the App store; a year later, it became the most downloaded app in the world, outpacing its closest competitor (WhatsApp) by 250 million downloads.
Despite TikTok’s overwhelming growth pace, they still have a long way to go to catch up with the top dogs. In the US, 47% of the platform’s user base is between the ages of 13 to 29.
8. QQ – 617 Million Active Users
QQ is one of the oldest social media sites available since the “internet years.” It’s another chat app owned by Chinese conglomerate Tencent (the other app being WeChat). QQ was launched in 1999 as a downloadable instant messaging app bearing the name OICQ.
The network quickly became China’s most popular communications platform contributing heavily to the eradication of mail communication. QQ rose to fame as users testified that the platform processed files at an unprecedented pace. Despite its popularity in China, QQ has struggled to influence the international scene rendering it useless outside its territories.
9. Douyin – 600 Million Active Users
Douyin is basically the TikTok of the Chinese people. The two platforms were developed by the same company and share some similarities to their core functionalities but are still two very different apps. Douyin being a localized app, is one of the most popular marketing channels for big brands.
What differentiates Douyin from TikTok is that, unlike TikTok, which prevents content creators from monetizing their content, Douyin provides content creators with a user-monetization mechanism that allows them to generate revenue from their content.
10. Sina Weibo – 511 Million Active Users
Sian Weibo is another Chinese social media site initially launched as a micro-blogging site but has since evolved into China’s third most popular social media site. Sina Weibo isn’t like the typical Chinese social media site. They focus on user-generated content, and it’s a famous information center adopted by journalists, businesses, influencers, and regular folks.
The platform can also be used as an effective marketing solution to tap into the ever-growing Chinese market. As expected, all data and information generated from Weibo are monitored and censored by the Chinese government. But this hasn’t stopped foreign investors from attempting to tap into the vast Chinese market.
11. Telegram – 500 Million Active Users
Many users ditched Whatsapp immediately after the PR disaster, with most users opting to go for Telegram. A super-secure, instant messaging, and also file-sharing website. Between March 2018 and January 2021, Telegram grew its user base from a mere 200 million to over 500 million active subscribers.
12. Snapchat – 498 Million Active Users
Snapchat is one of the most widely used photo-sharing platforms today, with an average of 230 million photos being shared every day. Snapchat contradicts the notion of “one it’s on the internet, it’s on forever.” This photo and video sharing platform rose to fame for showcasing photos and videos for a limited time before they’re entirely deleted.
This platform is considered a feminine website because about 57% of its users are female while only 43% are male. Users can easily monetize Snapchat by setting up a business account, getting customers to add you on Snapchat by broadcasting your username, create and sharing fun advertising campaigns. You can run ads by sharing them with your audience through your business account.
13. Kuaishou – 481 Million Active Users
China is home to some of the most successful social media sites, with three already featured on our list; Kuaishou is another trendy social media site originating from China. This platform is a video-sharing and live streaming app targeted solely toward the Chinese populace.
Kuaishou is second only to Douyin in the rankings of video sharing networks in China, boasting of about 80% of Douyin’s user base. Both Douyin and Kuaishou function similarly, but a few things set them apart.
Kuaishou has a more robust relationship-driven approach to content creation. It’s more famous for live streaming, hosting double the amount of live streams on Douyin. Additionally, Kuaishou is a very viable marketing solution as it currently boasts a conversion rate that is five times the number offered by Douyin.
14. Pinterest – 442 Million Active Users
Over a year ago, Pinterest’s active user base was just fairly half its current user base. The image-sharing platform witnessed a boom over the last year and has seen over 100 million new members between January and December.
Pinterest is a very interactive social media site that provides users with boards to create a catalog of their favorite photos, products, memes, and many more. The app is so engaging that an average user spends at least 14 minutes on the app per visit.
People love Pinterest, and users have given numerous positive reviews, with 83% of them saying that Pinterest helps boost their confidence and 91% of people say it’s a community with a positive mindset.
Pinterest is perfect for marketing as the users conduct over 600 million searches per month. Users around the world use Pinterest to find information about products and services.
15. Reddit – 430 Million Active Users
According to Statistics, Reddit is the fifth most used platform in the USA, boasting over 430 million monthly active users. It’s difficult to pinpoint the actual user base of Reddit because the platform pays strong attention to the privacy of its customers; the last official Reddit census amounted to about 430 million.
Reddit is such an efficient social media site because it isn’t just centered towards a specific audience. Rather the platform is divided into niched communities that operate kind of like a human search engine allowing users to find the information they’re looking for easily.
Reddit is not a very market-friendly platform. Creating a simple marketing or advertising page on the platform requires a little more tussle than with traditional sites like Facebook.
Social media is continually growing to become a permanent part of our existence. There are so many social media sites you can use to promote your business, sell your service or even learn a skill. Don’t be limited to one. Feel free to try them all until you discover the one that works best for you.