Last Updated on by Karl

Social networking platforms are locked in a endless sport of musical chairs.

Every yr, the whims of a fickle public, the introduction of recent gamers, and shifting world tendencies set off a shuffle in social media’s most vital leaderboard.

Aside from these shifts simply being “generally quite interesting” to {industry} watchers, they’re additionally tremendous helpful for savvy digital entrepreneurs.

Knowing how deeply every of those platforms reaches into the worldwide on-line group is crucial to your organization’s social media advertising and marketing technique. As is knowing different nuances regarding the platform’s progress.

Choosing which social community your model goes to focus its advertising and marketing efforts on is an important choice, and one which shouldn’t be taken purely on a hunch.

Sure, a selected social media platform could “feel right” in your model, however we suggest that you just take a bunch of different variables into consideration earlier than making the leap. Amongst these, “relative popularity” and “growth” are two of a very powerful components.

So, to assist your model with this important choice, Dreamgrow maintains this put up: An up-to-date view on the movers, shakers, newcomers, and immovable monoliths that make up the social media panorama.

Let’s leap in.

The Top 15 Social Networking Sites and Apps by Active Users

The metric we use to find out a social community’s dimension is “number of active users” – the entire quantity of distinctive customers at present registered on the platform. It’s a metric that’s used all through the tech {industry} as a key indicator of recognition, engagement, and progress.

Below is a graph depicting the highest 15 social networking websites and apps as calculated by industry-leading supplier of enterprise information, Statista.

Source: Most Popular Social Networks Worldwide as of January 2021, Ranked by Number of Active Users (Statista)

A Closer Look on the Top 15 Social Networks

1. Facebook – 2.74 Billion Active Users

Facebook is the undisputed heavyweight champion of social media platforms.

While it may possibly’t take credit score for getting every little thing began, that honor goes to SixDegrees (RIP), Facebook is the social media juggernaut that not solely confirmed the world what the web could be, but additionally fundamentally changed the way in which people work together with one another.

The firm’s turbulent early days and continued affiliation with epic controversies haven’t stopped it from reaching mind-boggling progress since its 2004 launch.

Facebook Keeps On GrowingSource: Facebook Keeps On Growing (Statista)

It took Facebook solely ten months to succeed in 1,000,000 subscribers and solely eight years to succeed in a billion. As of February 2021, Facebook boasts 2.74 billion energetic customers – a quantity that grows with roughly 500,000 new users every day, or six new customers each second.

Despite its immense recognition, Facebook isn’t the most visited website in the world. Somewhat surprisingly, its 25.5 billion month-to-month visits are bested by YouTube’s 34.6 billion and completely eclipsed by Google’s 92.5 billion.

In comparability to different social media platforms, Facebook is the preferred amongst customers aged between 12 and 34 years, though their US-based share of this demographic is most undoubtedly shrinking.

The Infinite Dial reports that the 58% of survey respondents on this age group who recognized Facebook as their favourite social community in 2015 has shrunk to 32% in 2020. The largest perpetrator – Instagram. The picture and video-sharing social community noticed its share of this demographic go from 15% to 27% in the identical time interval.

Here are another fascinating info about Facebook utilization:

2. YouTube – 2.291 Billion Active Users

The second-most widespread social media platform on our checklist, YouTube is available in at a super-impressive 2.29 billion registered customers.

However, since ANYONE can take pleasure in YouTube content, no matter whether or not or not they’re a registered person, this determine will not be essentially the most correct illustration of the platform’s true recognition.

Launched in 2005, the video-sharing platform was initially intended to be a dating service, with the founders reportedly publishing adverts on Craigslist to entice ladies into posting movies of themselves speaking about their very best companions.

The (quite comprehensible) lack of response resulted within the web site being opened up for movies of any variety – a call that will finally make Steve Chen, Chad Hurley, and Jawed Karim multi-millionaires.

The firm overcame quite a few technical and legal obstacles on its approach to turning into not solely the world’s main video-sharing platform but additionally the goal of a $1.65 billion acquisition by Google. All of this by November 2006 – solely 16 months after its official launch.

YouTube can be one among a tiny number of social media platforms that reaches very younger age teams. A 2020 study conducted by Pew Research revealed the next in regards to the viewing habits of US youngsters beneath the age of 11.

  • 80% of fogeys say their youngsters watch YouTube movies.
  • Only 19% of fogeys say that their youngsters don’t watch YouTube movies.
  • More than half of fogeys mentioned their youngsters watched Youtube a minimum of as soon as a day.

Parental Views About YouTubeSource: Parental Views About YouTube (Per Research Center)

Despite its recognition amongst a youthful viewers, YouTube additionally boasts some outstanding stats for reaching the grownup demographic. Almost three-quarters (74%) of all adults within the US use YouTube. Facebook is available in second at 68% and Instagram is third with 40%.

When it involves national demographics, greater than 30% of all YouTube’s site visitors originates from solely three nations. At 16.4%, the United States contributes the largest share. India is second with 9.2% and Japan grabs the bronze with 4.8%.

3. WhatsApp – 2.0 Billion Active Users

Founded in 2009 by two former Yahoo! staff, WhatsApp’s unique objective wasn’t to be an prompt messaging (IM) app, however quite to easily present “statuses” subsequent to the names of every entry in a person’s handle ebook.

“At some point it sort of became instant messaging,” Alex Fishman, a buddy of founder, Jan Koum, told Forbes.

This unintentional evolution led to the app dominating the free IM market and would additionally find yourself making the founders immensely rich – the latter due to Facebook’s $16 billion acquisition in 2014.

WhatsApp is one among solely three social networking platforms with a person base of over 2 billion – a milestone they reached in 2020. The app’s latest progress charge has been astonishing, with the final billion customers hopping on in solely 4 years!

WhatsApp 2021 User StatisticsSource: WhatsApp 2021 User Statistics (

Because WhatsApp has resisted integrating conventional promoting into their income mannequin, the platform doesn’t supply the width of selling choices that many different social networks do. But that doesn’t imply that the app doesn’t supply enormous marketing value for companies who use it as a communications device.

Despite a recent PR catastrophe surrounding an ill-advised replace to their privateness coverage, WhatsApp remains to be the preferred cellular messaging app on earth, beating Facebook Messenger, WeChat, QQ, Telegram, and Snapchat to the title.

4. Facebook Messenger – 1.3 Billion Active Users

It says quite a bit in regards to the energy of Facebook {that a} service WITHIN their fundamental platform reached the quantity 4 spot on this prestigious checklist.

It additionally says quite a bit about WhatsApp that they had been capable of dramatically outperform Messenger regardless of the latter being embedded into the world’s hottest social community.

Messenger’s preliminary incarnation was “Facebook Chat” – a easy IM function that was launched into the Facebook surroundings in 2008. Noting Chat’s potential as a standalone app with its personal distinctive industrial ecosystem, Facebook overhauled the service and rebranded it as “Facebook Messenger” two years later.

Unlike WhatsApp, Messenger’s proprietors had no challenge with introducing monetization options into the app’s core performance. As a outcome, Messenger affords companies an unparalleled stage of contact with their prospects and prospects.

There are extra methods to work together along with your leads on Messenger than you’ll be able to shake a stick at. From automated chatbots that discipline incoming queries and promote merchandise, to ads displayed within the person’s inbox, Messenger is a B2C marketer’s dream.

A Facebook's messenger chatbot in actionA messenger chatbot in motion | Source: How a University Increased Leads with a Messenger Bot (Chatbots Life)

Facebook gleefully reports that over 40 million energetic companies use Messenger to work together with their potential prospects and that over 20 billion messages are despatched between companies and common customers each month.

Interestingly, whereas Messenger nonetheless lags behind WhatsApp by way of whole variety of world energetic customers, Messenger is comfortably the extra widespread selection amongst customers within the United States.

Statista’s most recent figures on US IM engagement reported that 12.1% of US cellular homeowners had been utilizing WhatsApp, in comparison with Messenger’s 56.8%.

Age-wise, there’s one group that towers above the remainder in relation to Facebook Messenger adoption within the United States:

  • 13 – 17-year olds account for 1.7% of the app’s utilization.
  • 18 – 24-year olds account for 14.7%.
  • 25 – 34-year olds characterize 27.3% of Messenger’s US person base.
  • 35 – 44-year olds are available second with 21%.
  • 45 – 51 yr olds account for 14.7% of the nation’s Messenger’s person base.

5. Instagram – 1.221 Billion Active Users

The world’s hottest photo-sharing app is available in at quantity 5 with a complete of 1.22 billion world energetic customers.

Founded by former Google worker, Kevin Systrom, in 2009, Instagram is the product of an incredibly diligent analysis of the social media panorama on the time.

An early spherical of seed funding allowed Systrom to pivot the app, which initially targeted on attracting whiskey and bourbon aficionados, into one thing broader. Something with industry-defining picture manipulation tech and a much more immersive social expertise than every other image-sharing service on the time.

The outcome was an absolute beast of a social community. By April 2012, the month Facebook acquired it for $1 billion, Instagram had grown its person base to 35 million. Three months later, it stood at 80 million customers. By June 2016, it reached the landmark 500 million determine.

One of Instagram’s most enduring contributions to the world of digital advertising and marketing was the creation of “influencers”. For higher or worse, sure customers’ recognition gave their profiles an “aspirational” slant, which quickly resulted within the delivery of a complete new advertising and marketing channel that empowered common people to monetize their fame.

Demographically, Instagram appeals primarily to customers beneath the age of 35, with 71% of the app’s user base falling into this class.

It’s additionally an immensely widespread platform for B2C advertising and marketing, with more than 70% of US companies actively utilizing it as a advertising and marketing channel. Instagram affords unbelievable engagement charges compared to Facebook, its largest competitor. Despite providing comparatively related performance and engagement mechanisms, Instagram posts see, on common, a 23% higher engagement rate than photos printed on Facebook.

At 140 million customers every, the US and India characterize the platform’s two largest nationwide demographics. Brazil (99 million) is ranked second and Indonesia (88 million) third, whereas Russia (56 million) misses out on a podium end.

Leading Countries Based on Instagram Audience Size as of January 2021Source: Leading Countries Based on Instagram Audience Size as of January 2021 (Statista)

6. Weixin/WeChat – 1.213 Billion Active Users

With an extremely wide selection of features that enable customers to do every little thing from sending textual content messages and conducting video calls to processing digital funds and enjoying video video games, it’s no shock that WeChat has such a excessive place on our checklist.

Number of Monthly Active WeChat Users From 2nd Quarter 2011 to 4th Quarter 2020 Source: Number of Monthly Active WeChat Users From 2nd Quarter 2011 to 4th Quarter 2020 (Statista)

It’s additionally a testomony to WeChat’s immense usefulness that the app achieved this stage of recognition regardless of actively sharing users’ private information with the Chinese authorities as a part of the latter’s mass surveillance and censorship efforts.

Regardless of this unlucky collaboration, WeChat has blasted its manner into just about each facet of Chinese life – a notion underscored by the truth that the app’s adoption by older age teams is extraordinarily spectacular.

In 2018 an astonishing 98.5% of Chinese mobile users between the ages of 50 and 80 are registered WeChat customers. While 60% of WeChat customers over the age of 60 use greater than half of their cellular information on the app.

For social media entrepreneurs within the US contemplating WeChat as a doable advertising and marketing channel, it’s helpful to know that 23% of America’s mobile internet users between the ages of 18 and 24 are registered on the app.

7. TikTook – 689 Million Active Users

There are in a single day success tales and then there may be TikTook. The video-sharing platform burst onto the worldwide scene in 2017 and shortly began racking up adoption figures that made rivals weep onto their keyboards.

Two years after its emergence onto the social media panorama, TikTook was within the top five of the world’s most downloaded apps. A yr later, it was number one. And not by a small margin, both. The fledgling social community outperformed its nearest rival, WhatsApp, by a staggering 250 million downloads.

Have a have a look at the desk beneath for some extra context. The distinction between WhatsApp and the third-placed Facebook is simply 60 million downloads!

Most Popular Apps (2020)Source: Most Popular Apps (2020) (Business of Apps)

TikTook nonetheless has a methods to go to meet up with its rivals by way of the breadth of its demographic attain. In the United States, 47% of the platform’s user base is between the ages of 10 and 29.

8. QQ – 617 Million Active Users

Another property owned by the Chinese conglomerate Tencent (the opposite is WeChat), QQ has been round ceaselessly (in web years). 

Launched beneath the title OICQ in 1999 as a downloadable prompt messaging service, the platform shortly turned China’s hottest digital contact platform and performed a pivotal position in “killing” email on the planet’s most populous nation.

QQ’s early rise to dominance as a enterprise communication platform was helped by the software program’s distinctive dealing with of file transfers. This created a community impact the place firms merely HAD to be on QQ as a result of, nicely, all their companions, distributors, and shoppers had been already utilizing it.

Being first to market with such a helpful platform, particularly in a territory that actively blocks so many exterior cloud-based apps, helped construct the inspiration for QQ’s huge success.

Despite its ubiquity in China, QQ hasn’t managed to make its mark on the remainder of the world. International variations of the platform weren’t built-in with many useful QQ merchandise, rendering it principally worthless outdoors its residence territory.

9. Douyin – 600 Million Active Users

To hold it easy, Douyin is TikTook for a Chinese viewers. The two platforms have the identical father or mother firm and the identical core performance however are most undoubtedly two completely different apps, marketed to 2 completely different demographics.

In China, Douyin has turn into one of the widespread advertising and marketing channels for luxurious manufacturers. Many have struggled to create significant engagement with the platform’s younger person base, however there have been some success stories.

Unlike TikTook, Douyin has embraced user-monetization and supplied content creators with extra concrete mechanisms to generate income stream from their movies – primarily by integrating with widespread Chinese e-commerce platforms like Taobao.

Douyin In-App ShoppingDouyin In-App Shopping | Source: Douyin TikTok : a New Way To Sell Big In China (Marketing to China)

10. Sina Weibo – 511 Million Active Users

Sina Weibo is a Chinese property that started off as a micro-blogging web site and has advanced into the nation’s third-largest social community.

Unlike the opposite Chinese platforms on this checklist, Weibo’s focus could be very a lot on the creation, supply, and consumption of user-generated content. It’s an info heart that’s been adopted by companies, journalists, influencers, and common people alike.

Companies, particularly, have taken to Weibo as a advertising and marketing platform, with a number of worldwide manufacturers even succeeding in tapping into the large Chinese market. The most profitable of those has been Tourism Australia who gained Weibo’s “most promising and popular outbound destination award” at a Chinese influencer summit in 2019.

Sadly, as could be anticipated, the knowledge that’s distributed on Weibo is topic to strict authorities scrutiny and censorship. But this hasn’t stopped continued efforts by international firms eager to market themselves to a 3rd of China’s inhabitants.

L’Oreal on Sina WeiboL’Oreal on Sina Weibo | Source: Create a Weibo Account (Asia Pacific)

11. Telegram – 500 Million Active Users

No social community with an prompt messaging focus has benefited extra from WhatsApp’s latest PR catastrophe than Telegram. When WhatsApp introduced impending changes in their privacy policy, the ramifications had been instantaneous.

Users left the Facebook-owned chat app in droves – the vast majority of them buying and selling it for Telegram, a hyper-secure IM and social networking app favored by blockchain lovers and cryptocurrency merchants.

The Guardian reports (by way of information obtained from App Annie) that between January 1 and January 12 of 2021, WhatsApp had fallen from the eighth most downloaded app within the UK to the lowly place of 23rd.

During roughly the identical time frame (January 1 – January 21), Telegram gained roughly 25 million new customers. That’s a 5% improve of their person base in simply three weeks! It additionally turned the world’s most downloaded app for each Android and iPhone customers throughout a month that WhatsApp would quite overlook.

How Many People Use Telegram in 2021?Source: How Many People Use Telegram in 2021? (Backlinko)

From the graph above, it’s very clear that Telegram’s adoption noticed an enormous enhance between March 2018 and January 2021. During these three years, the app noticed its month-to-month energetic customers develop by a staggering 150% – going from 200 million to 500 million customers in solely 34 months.

According to information printed by Hootsuite, Android Telegram customers spend extra time on the app than these utilizing Facebook Messenger. The social media specialists report that the common person spends 2.9 hours per thirty days on Telegram, vs Messenger’s 2.7.

12. Snapchat – 498 Million Active Users

Few folks would have guessed that an app rejecting the notion of “once it’s on the internet, it’s forever” would thrive the way in which Snapchat has.

The picture and video-sharing platform turned well-known for under displaying customers’ posts for a restricted time earlier than it’s deleted. Forever. This infused every Snapchat interplay with an immediacy that resonated with a youthful technology of cellular web customers.

It additionally helped that the app broke the mould when it got here to augmented actuality filters and lenses – options that instilled Snapchat interactions with a artistic irreverence lacking from different social networks.

Snapchat has proven some severely spectacular progress in its each day energetic customers (DAU) outdoors of the United States and Europe.

In the 4 years between This autumn, 2017 and This autumn, 2020, the app’s utilization in these two areas has maintained a gradual charge of progress. DAUs in the remainder of the world, nevertheless, have skyrocketed on this timeframe, going from 47 million to a whopping 99 million.

As of December 2020, Snapchat DAUs within the “rest of the world” now outnumber their US and European counterparts.

Number of Daily Active Snapchat Users from 1st Quarter 2014 to 4th Quarter 2020, by RegionSource: Number of Daily Active Snapchat Users from 1st Quarter 2014 to 4th Quarter 2020, by Region (Statista)

From a demographic perspective, two statistics stand out:

13. Kuaishou – 481 Million Active Users

China’s 1.5 billion folks completely love video-sharing and reside streaming. So a lot, in actual fact, that we discover ourselves speaking in regards to the second app of its variety that’s targeted solely on the Chinese market.

Kuaishou is the territory’s second-biggest video-sharing social community, at present sitting with round 80% of Douyin’s whole energetic customers.

Functionally, it affords very related options to Douyin, however there are key differences in the kind of content the 2 networks create and how it’s curated and displayed.

  • Kuaishou is the extra widespread platform for reside streaming, serving double the quantity of reside streams in its native content part than Douyin.
  • Kuaishou has a stronger relationship-driven method to content suggestion. Around half of the content in a person’s feed comes from accounts the person already follows.
  • The overwhelming majority (as much as 90%) of content displayed on a Douyin person’s feed is from accounts which have gained recognition amongst different customers.

Chinese social media specialists, Walk the Chat, consider that Kuaishou’s stronger group focus is the principle cause why it boasts e-commerce conversions which might be 5 – 10 instances increased than Douyin’s.

E-commerce on KuaishouE-commerce on Kuaishou | Source: The rise of short video e-commerce on Kuaishou (Marketing to China)

14. Pinterest – 442 Million Active Users

As little as a yr in the past, Pinterest wouldn’t have made it onto our checklist of the 15 hottest social networking websites and apps. The image-sharing platform noticed a document progress yr in 2020, gaining greater than 100 million new monthly active users between January and December.

Important info for manufacturers seeking to promote themselves on Pinterest is that the social media platform is simply now beginning to make its mark outdoors of the United States.

As of January 2021, the overwhelming majority (roughly 23%) of the social media platform’s customers all discover themselves within the US. The subsequent closest territory is Germany which accounts for a mere 3.9%. France is third with 2.7%.

Leading countries based on Pinterest audience size as of January 2021Source: Leading countries based on Pinterest audience size as of January 2021 (Statista)

Having made this level, it’s vital to notice that the unbelievable progress Pinterest skilled in 2020 was largely on account of elevated worldwide adoption.

Speaking to shareholders of their Q4 earnings report, the corporate introduced that it noticed an astonishing 46% improve in worldwide month-to-month energetic customers (MAU). During the identical interval, the community noticed a extra modest home improve of 11% new MAU.

Demographically, Pinterest has largely been dominated by feminine customers. Currently, the gender break up is sitting at roughly 60/40 p.c. This hole is narrowing, nevertheless, with the platform reporting a 50% increase in male customers in 2020.

15. Reddit – 430 Million Active Users

Fittingly, the “front page of the internet” manages to stay on our checklist regardless of some robust opposition and quite a few shakeups within the leaderboard.

Reddit is a haven for the niche-obsessed. No matter what your pursuits are and the place your passions lie, you’re just about assured to discover a like-minded group able to embrace, educate, and make enjoyable of you.

Founded in 2005, Reddit is likely one of the oldest social networks featured on our checklist, a incontrovertible fact that’s evidenced by its uncanny similarity to old-school dialogue boards. This clearly hasn’t broken the platform’s potential to repeatedly entice new customers, although, as Reddit has persistently maintained a year-on-year MAU growth of 30%.

Reddit Usage and Growth Statistics- How Many People Use Reddit in 2021?Source: Reddit Usage and Growth Statistics: How Many People Use Reddit in 2021? (Backlinko)

Reddit thrives within the US, the place 25% of the country’s adults actively use the platform to learn and share info. is at present ranked because the nation’s 8th most popular website and boasts a mean go to period of 20.06 minutes – comfortably longer than Amazon, Wikipedia, Yahoo, Twitter, and eBay.

50.8% of Reddit’s desktop site visitors originates from America, with the UK (7.85%) and Canada (7.76%) taking on the following two spots. Australia (4.34%) misses out on the rostrum.

Currently, Reddit has simply over 2.2 million subreddits. These are largely unbiased communities that exist with minimal moderation and interference from the platform itself. This autonomy has performed a giant half in Reddit’s success. Users are capable of type thriving communities round some fairly obscure subjects – one thing that breeds fierce loyalty to a platform.

In Conclusion

There you go. The 15 hottest social networking websites and apps. Hands up in the event you by no means thought we’d get to the tip of this gigantic checklist.

In all seriousness, figuring out as a lot as doable a couple of platform earlier than you begin selling your model on it’s completely crucial to social media advertising and marketing success.

Different features and options make sure platforms extra applicable for one model than one other. At the identical time, completely different legacies and cultures additionally entice particular viewers demographics.

Build stable perception into all of those variables and your subsequent social media marketing campaign is way extra more likely to present the returns your enterprise deserves.

Looking to make use of social media to become profitable? Consider beginning a dropshipping business, stepping into selling on Amazon with instruments like JungleScout, or construct a weblog!

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