Have you ever wondered how popular social media platforms are these days? If the answer is yes, then you’ve probably been thinking about which platform, specifically, is the most popular, together with how others compare. If that’s the case, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll go through the top ten most popular social media platforms, as well as seeing how they compare with each other. With this in mind, let’s get started.
According to the Search Engine Journal, we have already, as a globe, ranked the top ten social media platforms of the year, and it looks unlikely that the list is going to change any time soon. Knowing the top ten most popular social media platforms could help you and your marketing campaign in many ways, the first one being that you know where the majority of your audience will reside online. So without further ado, let’s list which social media platforms are the most popular so far this year, based on information from the Search Engine Journal:
There are several differences between each of these social media platforms. This is what can set one apart from the other and, therefore, make it more popular than its counterparts. However, each social media network has a variety of features and uses that makes it more appealing to each user. For example, a professional looking to progress their career will be more likely to use LinkedIn than Facebook. Let’s take a look at how each of the top ten most popular social media platforms compare with one another:
Founded in 2004, Facebook became a hugely popular social media network that allowed for users to connect with each other from all over the world. Owned by Meta, who also oversee sites like Instagram and WhatsApp, Facebook has seen many updates that have the sole aim of making the user experience more simple and straightforward. Most recently, according to Wired, the most recent update has involved cracking down on the spread of misinformation. Over the years, Facebook is used less as a way of connecting with others and more as a way of reading about, and easily spreading, the news.
In terms of demographics, as of 2021, the largest group who uses Facebook are males between the ages of 25 and 34, states The Social Shepherd. The second-largest group of Facebook users are males between the ages of 18 and 24. Surprisingly, the third-largest group of Facebook users are females between the ages of 24 and 35, according to the same source. Let’s see how these statistics compare with the other social media platforms on our list.
YouTube was founded in 2005 as a way for amateur videographers to share their content, for free, online. In its earliest days, the interface and content was very simplistic, with no adverts to be seen. It soon took off and became one of the most popular video sharing websites on the internet, for its time. Worth an eye-watering $29.7 billion, according to Statista, it’s no surprise that it’s made it to number two on our list of the most popular social media platforms for 2023.
Backlinko claims that YouTube is most popular with people between the ages of 15 and 35, with more women watching YouTube videos than men. As of March this year, there are over 2 billion YouTube users across the globe, with more than one billion hours of video content viewed every single day.
WhatsApp, as already discussed, is owned by Meta, who also owns Facebook and Instagram. It was founded in 2009, just one year before the photo-sharing platform, as a way for people to contact one another using the internet and not using mobile data or using up texting allowances. Coming in at a time when pay-as-you-go mobiles were slowly becoming obsolete, it’s no wonder that people were eager to get behind the free communication app.
According to Oberlo, WhatsApp boasts two billion users across the world. Backlinko states that of those two billion users, the majority of those who actually use it are between the ages of 26 and 35, with the second-largest group being between the ages of 15 and 25, although the genders aren’t specified.
Instagram started out as a simple photo sharing app, with no other functionality. In comparison to the Instagram we use today, it was very basic and lacked other features such as video sharing, reels or Stories. However, just like Facebook, instagram had to move with the times, adding more features for users to enjoy. Considered more of a creative app than its counterparts, it’s no wonder that the Instagram owners looked to enhance the user experience to make it unlike anything else.
Backlinko claims that 28.8% of the world’s active internet users have an account with Instagram. More specifically, in 2022, the largest group of Instagram users were men aged between 18 and 24. The second-largest group were men between the ages of 25 and 34, whereas women are the third-largest group of Instagram users, between the ages of 18 and 34, respectively, states Statista.
Another video sharing social network, it aims to share short-form video content as opposed to YouTube, which displays long-form video content as well. Released initially in 2016 but gaining popularity through the 2020’s, TikTok very quickly became one of the staple social media platforms of the current age. However, its users differ from that of the aforementioned social media platforms. The largest group of people who use TikTok are between the ages of 10 and 19, making them the youngest group of social media users so far in this list, according to Wallaroo.
Snapchat was founded in 2011, with the sole aim of sending photos and videos to close contacts that would only last a few seconds before disappearing from view forever. Despite being a simple app to use, it too has received several updates that display news stories and other things.
However, it was thought that its popularity would dwindle with the release of Instagram Stories, but this didn’t happen. In fact, there are more active Snapchat users in the world now than ever before, according to Demandsage. As of 2023, there are 383 million daily active Snapchat users, compared to 375 million the year before. Of those 383 million users, 51% of them are female, states Statista.
Pinterest is like no other social media platform out there. It acts as an online scrapbook for people who are looking to be inspired by a wealth of different things. From home decor and recipes to weddings and birthday parties, Pinterest can be used as a way of saving photographic inspiration and blog posts so as to channel creative thoughts in a controlled manner. Founded in 2010, it’s still just as popular today as it was when it was first released. However, it seems to be more popular with 80% of Millennial women (women born between 1980 and 1996) and 40% of Millennial men (men born between 1980 and 1996), according to The Social Shepherd.
Reddit is usually described as an online chat room or forum where people could go and ask questions and get answers. It’s also compared with sites like Tumblr, that’s used as a way for people to share written content online, almost like a blog. Founded in 2005, it arrived on the scene when dial-up internet was still widely used across the country and so its user interface was basic to make for a quick and effective experience.
Members also have the option to thumbs up or thumbs down any content that’s shared on there. Statista states that 36% of internet users ages between 18 and 28 access Reddit. It also claims that 22% of internet users between the ages of 30 and 49 access Reddit also. With this in mind, it seems to be hugely popular with a smattering of ages and genders.
Used more as an information platform to share blog posts, images, articles and more, it’s most popular with professionals who are looking to further their careers in some way. It can also be used by professionals who are looking to stay in the loop with regards to the industry they work in or those who they work with.
Essentially, it should be viewed in the same way as Facebook, only with a more formal spin on it. One of the oldest social media platforms on the list, it was founded in 2002, and has been accessed by millions of internet users throughout its time. According to The Social Shepherd, Millennials and business professionals make up the majority of LinkedIn users, although more males than females use the network, states the same source.
Founded in March 2006, Twitter has undergone several updates, the most notable of which being its name-change from Twitter to simply ‘X’ under Elon Musk. It was released as a way of getting short-form content out to thousands, if not millions, of users at once. Twitter started off with a very small character limit, with each post being called a ‘Tweet’.
Each Tweet goes directly onto a generic timeline that could be picked up by anyone, especially if you’ve included hashtags. These days, instead of being used to convey thoughts and feelings, it’s used as a way to share articles, videos, photos and more. In line with the other social media platforms, the majority of people who use Twitter are between 25 and 34 years old, according to The Social Shepherd.
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As an experienced Copywriter, Lorna enjoys creating varied content for an abundance of different industries and sectors. From detailed, informative articles to creative infographics, she's always looking to inject originality into the work she produces. When she isn't working, Lorna runs her own lifestyle blog, plays the guitar and loves to take part in charity runs.