Most Popular Social Media Platforms In 2021
- February 8, 2022
- Social Media
The sustained triumph of social media has its reasons; it is not just a passing hype. Because the core of social media platforms consists of interpersonal relationships, an eternal basic human need. The popular social media platforms offer the opportunity to network with relatives, friends or new acquaintances and to exchange holiday pictures, videos or news. Or to communicate with large companies, to request service processes, or to discuss politics, society or God and the world with journalists and countless interested parties. Whether it’s inspiring photos, video conferences, exciting or funny videos, discussions and messages or professional networking to accelerate your career – the social media world offers appropriate platforms for every interest.
List Of The Most Popular Social Media Platforms
But which of these have the most users due to their performance? Which ones are worth registering for? We have compiled a list of the top social media platforms for you, sorted by number of users in descending order. However, we would like to note that it can only provide a rough guide, as the numbers of active users presented (average values, in some cases different information) should be treated with caution. This is because they are partly based on company information, which one has to be skeptical about, but also because popular social media platforms naturally have tons of double accounts, fake accounts, dead accounts or, as with Google+, simply automatically created users. Still, the estimated numbers naturally provide an insightful overview of the most popular social networks.
What are the top 10 Popular Social Media Platforms?
- Facebook (communication platform) 1.9 billion international users
- WhatsApp (Messenger) 1.2 billion international users
- Facebook Messenger (Messenger) 1 billion international users
- YouTube (video platform) 1 billion international users
- Instagram (photo / video clip platform) 600 million international users
- Skype (video conference software) 600 million international users
- Google Hangouts (video conference software) 500 million international users
- LinkedIn (business contacts platform) 467 million international users
- Twitter (microblogging service) 317 million international users
- Snapchat (Messenger) 220 million international users
Which are the top 5 popular social media platforms?
Is it Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, LinkedIn or is it TikTok?
Social media have become indispensable in our society! Channels are born for the most variety of target groups, others “die” again.
This makes it more and more difficult to find the right digital channel for your own company or for your own brand.
Facebook has changed a lot in recent years. A few years ago, more private content was posted for friends, but Facebook is now more of an information medium. You follow pages that are interesting (e.g. news pages, brands, …) or join “groups” in which common interests are dealt with. Private content is posted far less by users than it was a few years ago, or people use messenger to communicate with friends.
It is therefore very important that you know your target group so that it can be decided whether Facebook is the right channel for you.
Instagram can not be compared with Facebook- so you must also be aware that content usually cannot or should not be “copied” 1: 1 from Facebook to Instagram.
Compared to Facebook, which is often associated with hate comments and fake news, an “ideal world” is increasingly presented on Instagram. You post beautiful pictures of yourself, of landscapes, fashion, hobbies, … But you don’t find much negative.
Instagram doesn’t just consist of the beautiful, optimized images in the news feed. Instagram also lives from the stories that a user can post and that are online 24 hours a day. These stories are supposed to show “daily life” and are therefore not always perfectly prepared, but rather “shot from the hip”.
First of all: Pinterest is actually not a social media platform, but rather a search engine with images (and videos).
You can search on Pinterest in the same way as on Google. It became known through travel, decoration and recipe tips. It is interesting that you can also be inspired – based on previous search queries, Pinterest presents interesting posts that are similar to your interests.
YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world and is used for research, knowledge expansion and entertainment. You can present your achievements in video form, introduce yourself, work on different topics, offer courses or give everyday things about yourself.
Many people now earn money on this channel, but it is becoming more and more difficult to attract attention or be found among the abundance of videos.
YouTube belongs to Google – so there is the possibility that advertising can be booked using Google Ads.
TikTok is THE newcomer of 2019/20. The platform is known to many, but what exactly takes place here is still rather unknown.
What is TikTok?
TikTok only works on mobile, is a mixture of Snapchat and Instagram, consisting of high-format videos. With the app, the video can be edited and stored with music from a huge library – not only music but also dialogues from film and television are available.
In addition to likes, comments and following other users, there are a few more ways to interact on TikTok:
These are TikTok challenges to a popular song or hashtag. Here is a brief description of what the challenge is about and videos from users who have already participated are displayed collectively. Participation increases the reach of your video.
Here the video of another user is selected and you can add your own contribution.
If you find a video funny, you can record your reaction to the video and place it in the video. A completely new way of interacting with third-party content.
It is important here that creative content (video) is necessary that attracts attention in the crowd and evokes interactions.
The different types of social media platforms
Since social media is constantly evolving and thus becoming more and more differentiated, you need in-depth knowledge of the different types of social media and knowledge of the networks in which your target group operates.
The following is an overview of the most popular social media platforms and then a few tips for choosing the right network.
These networks are not among the oldest channels, but they are among the most important. In the beginning, the offer was limited to public micro-pages, from which the well-known profile pages developed. Detailed information about the user and required registration are the main features of these pages.
Relationship networks make it possible to handle all of your own communication in one place and share important updates with your own network at the push of a button. Regardless of whether they are of a professional or private nature, these networks support the search for other contacts.
Relationship networks enable a connection between brand or company and customer on a personal level.
Suitable networks: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Xing
Media sharing platforms
Everything here revolves around the visual: whether images, videos or streaming. Image editing and uploading of images are in the foreground on these popular social media platforms before the actual interaction between users. All of these visual formats are the primary form of communication.
The resource question should definitely be clarified before creating an account. Do you have enough time to create videos or take pictures? Do you have the financial means to produce visual content? Does special staff have to be employed or can employees take on these tasks? A carefully planned procedure and the right design of the media assets (graphics, videos or even music) is crucial.
Suitable networks: Instagram, Flickr, YouTube, Vimeo, Vine
Searching the Internet for interesting content was a challenge at the beginning of the WorldWideWeb and has now blossomed into an impossible task, at least if you do the research manually. Search engines like Google help you of course, but once you have a vague idea of what you are looking for, other options are needed.
Allows bookmarking websites help out. This allows users to collect content and save their search results on the respective platform. The collected content can be publicly accessible or even shared with other users. Known from Amazon’s purchase suggestions, it is now normal to receive suggestions for interesting content on these websites as well.
In order to be “bookmark-worthy” for users, you should definitely optimize your website or blog. This includes, among other things, the adaptation of headlines and images for RSS feeds (Rich Site Summary – a standardized format for the simplified publication of changes on websites). The high quality of the image material should also be ensured!
Suitable networks: Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Flipboard
Forums are by far the oldest form of social media. These probably arose from the desire to exchange ideas with a community about the same interests and to share knowledge with one another. These popular social media platforms do not require the correct name of a user and thus allow complete anonymity when commenting. This anonymity may be beneficial for forum members, but for a brand or company not recommendable. Members can put their opinions in the public space without losing face. As a company or brand, however, you are constantly the subject of this public. If a company were to advertise its products anonymously in a forum too often, this could quickly become apparent and be seen as a sneaky act. A good reputation would then be invalid.
The best thing you can do is content to share that relevant to the discussion are and competently participate in discussions. However, one should refrain from self-promotion. Users and moderators are often sensitive to advertising that can be found in a post. Violent reactions, also known as “Shitstorm” in the social field, can mean permanent damage to your brand, such as damage to reputation or loss of sales.
Suitable networks: Reddit, Quora, Digg
Social publication platforms
Publication platforms can be understood as blogs and micro-blogs (users publish short SMS-like messages). Both long and short content are shared with the public or a specific audience. Popular social media platforms ranging from real-time microblogging services such as Twitter, interactive social platforms such as Facebook, to traditional blogging platforms such as WordPress.
A blog can significantly increase awareness of a brand or company. Not only that with such a platform additional content is available for social media marketing. This medium also helps to create its own niche within the industry for its brand and to demonstrate its expertise.
Suitable networks: microblogging: Twitter; interactive social platforms: Facebook; traditional blogging platforms: WordPress, Blogger; Limited content platforms: Medium, Tumblr
Consumer review networks
Consulting the internet about a place, business, or service is another facet of social media. Because for many people nothing is more reliable than the opinion or review of family, friends or like-minded people.
Feedback from customers and from your own target group, whether negative or positive, as well as dealing with this is essential for the brand or the company. The internet is a huge public knowledge base and more and more customers are choosing to consider public opinion when choosing a brand or company.
The interaction and management of customer inquiries and reviews are important and should not be underestimated. On the one hand, feedback, services or products can be improved. On the other hand, reputation improves due to good customer support.
Suitable networks: Google Maps / Google Places, Foursquare, Yelp, Facebook, TripAdvisor
Social Media Marketing Trends
What is the newest social media platforms?
TikTok is one of the fastest expanding and popular social media platforms these days, but advertising and marketing on the platform are still in its early stage. But as increasingly more brand names utilize the platform for communicating with their audiences, you can expect to see more tools that are useful for businesses, like being able to track information, statistics, and also metrics.
TikTok is a famous social media platform for short-form video content. It was launched in 2016 for the Chinese market, TikTok was launched to worldwide users in 2018 when parent company ByteDance combined it with the lip-syncing app Musical.ly. With the rebrand of Musical.ly came a shift in the kind of content being developed on the app. Although lip-syncing is still typical on TikTok, users also check out other themes in their video clips, like dance, comedy, art, as well as social challenges.
Currently, customers can create video clips in between 3 to 15 seconds. You can add impacts, voice-over, texts, as well as much more to enliven your video clips to draw in even more visitors. Worldwide, TikTok has actually been downloaded and install over 2 billion times. In March 2020, TikTok saw a huge uptick in browsing, surpassing its competing Snapchat for the very first time ever. With over 2 billion downloads globally and over 800 million month-to-month energetic customers, TikTok has actually come to be the best platform for brands to involve with audiences.
TikTok has actually been very preferred amongst Gen Z customers (most energetic audiences are between the ages of 16 and also 24). After Zoom is presently the most downloaded applications, vanquishing YouTube, Instagram as well as Facebook Messenger in 2020. According to this record from Worldwide Internet Index, 41% of their 800 million energetic individuals are between the ages of 16 as well as 24.
What is the most popular social media platform?
Around the world, people spend 2 hours and 16 minutes a day on social networks. With around 2.5 billion active users, Facebook is by far the most widely used social network. Instagram, on the other hand, has “only” a little more than a billion active users.
Select the social network according to target group relevance
One of the most important questions in social media, but also in marketing in general, is the following: “Where is my target group located?” and what is their media consumption behavior. Of course, you can and should also deal with other characteristics of your target group.
Define the age of your target audience
Because this is particularly important when choosing the social network on which you want to advertise and publish your content. You want something from your target audience, so you should adapt to them and find them where they are.
The largest age group of Facebook users are 25 to 34-year-olds. The second-largest is the 18 to 24-year-olds, followed by the 35 to 44-year-olds, which should not be forgotten! Not to be expected otherwise, however, it is the 18 to 24-year-olds who make up the largest user group on Instagram. At TikTok, on the other hand, you’ll primarily meet Generation Z.
Research what media consumption behavior your target group has
This is important because, for example, you want your ads to reach your target group. If you choose a social network that is primarily used on the move, but your target group tends to surf the Internet on laptops, the selected network is not the most ideal for spreading your message.
Facebook is used by 96% of active users via smartphones and tablets. In addition, 25% of active users also access Facebook from their desktop.
From this, it can already be concluded that the choice of the social network for your social media marketing mix should depend on the target group and not on the “hype” or media coverage.
Overview of social media
Find out about the characteristics of the individual social networks and their users with the help of studies ( e.g. the annual Global Digital Report from we are social and Hootsuite ) and statistics. In addition, always base your selection on your target group.
The advantages of Facebook at a glance
Facebook has some specific advantages over other social networks, we have listed our 5 favorites for you :
- Facebook users reveal a lot of (private) information about themselves, which you can use to design your Facebook marketing.
- You are active and like and comment a lot. (However, this also depends on the age group of the user.)
- A Facebook page should improve Google ranking.
- The responsiveness to messages on Facebook Messenger is high.
- Facebook groups are becoming more and more popular because of their community aspect and privacy. They are currently also heavily promoted by Facebook itself.
Which social network has the most users?
Social Media Marketing For Business
The most important advantage is that you are in direct dialogue with your customers. Your company is more or less personalized through this communication. That creates trust. You can present new products very vividly and get immediate feedback. Customers who feel they are being taken seriously are very likely to remain loyal to your company.
In addition, the general customer opinion can be read quite well based on the rating and verbal feedback. Otherwise, you would only get such valuable information with the help of expensive surveys and studies. If someone is convinced of your brand, the service or the product, they pass it on to friends and acquaintances, which enormously increases the level of awareness of your company or the circle of potential customers.
Last but not least, an online strategy through social media marketing with regard to search engine optimization is becoming increasingly important. Information that is disseminated via links on Facebook, Google+, Twitter & Co. is rated by general search engines as more interesting than the same information from websites on which there are no social media activities. Social media marketing is therefore increasingly becoming a relevant ranking factor.
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