Whether you’re an experienced social media pro, a marketing passionate individual excited to dive into the world of social media, or a business owner aiming to make the most of social platforms, it’s crucial to be in the know about the current popular social media sites. This awareness will help you make the most of your brand’s online presence, connect effectively with your target audience, and achieve your social media goals.
However, it’s not just about the size of these social platforms. It’s also about whether they align with your brand’s identity and if your desired audience hangs out there. Plus, you should consider how many social platforms you can effectively handle at once.
To make things easier, we’ve done some research and gathered info on the top social media platforms in 2023. While you might recognize some, there might be a few new ones to explore. We recommend checking out this list to discover which social media apps could be a great fit for your brand. And remember, you don’t have to be on every single social platform to build a successful brand.
The Leading 10 Social Networking Platforms in 2023
Our list rankings take into account both their relevance to brands and creators, as well as the number of Monthly Active Users (MAUs).
1. Facebook: 3.3 billion
Facebook, the largest social networking platform, boasts nearly 3 billion monthly users, representing approximately 37% of the global population. Over 200 million businesses, primarily small enterprises, utilize Facebook tools, and more than seven million advertisers actively promote their businesses on this platform, making it a reliable choice for establishing a social media presence.
Facebook’s versatility accommodates various content formats, including text, images, video content, and Stories. It’s essential to note that the Facebook algorithm prioritizes content that encourages meaningful interactions and conversations among users, especially involving family and friends.
2. YouTube: 2.56 billion
YouTube, a video-sharing platform, witnesses users consuming a staggering billion hours of video content every day. Remarkably, it not only ranks as the second-largest social media platform but is also frequently referred to as the second-largest search engine, second only to Google, its parent company.
For businesses leveraging video content for promotion, incorporating YouTube into your marketing strategy is imperative. To begin, here’s a guide on establishing a YouTube channel for your brand. Furthermore, to enhance the discoverability of your videos and expand your audience, we suggest delving into YouTube SEO techniques or exploring advertising opportunities on the platform to extend your reach.
3. WhatsApp: 2 billion
WhatsApp is a widely used messaging app with users in over 180 countries. Initially designed for personal communication, it has evolved into a platform for business-to-customer interactions. WhatsApp’s business platform enables companies to offer customer support and share updates with customers regarding their purchases. Small businesses can utilize the WhatsApp Business app, while larger enterprises have the option of the WhatsApp Business API.
4. Instagram: 2 billion
As a visual-oriented social networking platform, Instagram, serves as an ideal platform for presenting your products or services through visual content such as photos and videos. The app supports a diverse range of content formats, including photos, videos, Stories, reels, live videos, and IGTV for longer-form video content.
For brands, Instagram offers the option to create a business profile, which comes with robust analytics for assessing profile and post performance. Additionally, it enables the scheduling of Instagram posts through third-party tools. Instagram is also an excellent platform for generating user-generated content from your audience, as users frequently share content and tag brands.
5. WeChat: 1.31 billion
WeChat, introduced by Tencent in 2011, one of China’s largest tech conglomerates, initially started as a messaging app similar to WhatsApp and Messenger. However, over time, it has transformed into a comprehensive, all-in-one platform. In addition to messaging and calling features, WeChat offers a wide array of functionalities, including online shopping, bill payments, grocery shopping, money transfers, reservation bookings, taxi bookings, and much more.
WeChat stands out as the most widely used social media platform in China and various other parts of Asia. This makes it an excellent choice for enhancing your brand’s presence in China, especially in a landscape where prominent Western social networks like Facebook and Twitter are restricted. On WeChat, you can advertise on official WeChat accounts or within WeChat Moments. Additionally, there is a substantial community of WeChat-based influencers who can assist your brand in reaching millions of Chinese consumers.
6. TikTok: 1.09 billion
TikTok, known as Douyin in China, is a popular short-form video-sharing application. Despite its launch as recently as 2017, it has rapidly emerged as one of the world’s fastest-growing apps and even surpassed Google as the most visited internet site.
TikTok empowers users to craft and share videos ranging from 15 to 60 seconds in duration, offering a diverse array of sound effects, music snippets, and filters to enhance the video content, making it more engaging. The platform features a wide spectrum of content, spanning from lip-sync performances, dancing, and creative challenges to do-it-yourself demonstrations and makeup tutorials. Remarkably, nearly 47.4% of TikTok users in the United States fall within the age group of 10-29, making it an ideal platform for businesses targeting a younger demographic.
7. LinkedIn: 1 billion
With approximately 1 billion monthly active users, LinkedIn, has transformed from a basic job search and resume platform into a dynamic professional networking hub. Here, industry professionals share valuable content, expand their networks, and cultivate their personal brands. Additionally, it has emerged as a platform for businesses to showcase thought leadership within their respective industries and draw top talent.
8. Telegram: 800 million
Telegram is a free messaging application that offers seamless functionality across various devices, without restrictions on media file sizes.
9. Snapchat: 750 million
Snapchat places its emphasis on photos and short videos, known as ‘snaps,’ which are typically exchanged among friends. The platform played a pivotal role in popularizing the vertical video format, a trend that later found its way onto other social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok. However, Snapchat’s growth and its appeal to marketers have faced challenges, particularly with the advent of Instagram Stories.
10. Kuaishou: 640 million
Kuaishou, a Chinese counterpart to Douyin or TikTok, shares many similarities with its competitors. It permits users to enhance images or videos with text, stickers, and sound bites. Additionally, users can live stream content to their followers or create longer videos.
In contrast to TikTok, Kuaishou enjoys greater popularity among an older demographic, particularly in rural regions of China. Notably, the app places a heavier emphasis on generating revenue through e-commerce as opposed to relying solely on advertising income.
Whether you’re a social media pro, a marketing enthusiast, or a business owner, staying informed about popular social media platforms is vital. This knowledge helps you connect with your target audience effectively and reach your social media goals. It’s not just about platform size; it’s about alignment with your brand and managing them effectively.
We’ve researched and compiled the top social media platforms in 2023. You don’t need to be on every platform to succeed.