Top 25 Most Popular Social Media Sites You Need to Know

Most Popular Social Media Sites in 2024

How many big social media platforms do you know?

Let us guess – you immediately thought of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and, perhaps, Pinterest. And you’re absolutely right, those are some of the biggest social media sites. 

But they’re definitely not the only major players out there! Read on to learn about the top 25 most popular social media sites by the number of active users.

Top 25 Most Popular Social Media Sites

1. Facebook

Founders: Mark Zuckerberg, Eduardo Saverin, Andrew McCollum, Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes

Year founded: 2004

Place of origin: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States

Number of monthly active users: 3.03 billion

Key features: Users can browse through algorithmic News Feed, publish content on their own or other users’ walls, add friends, react and comment on posts, receive real-time notifications, create groups and events, use location tagging, share ephemeral content through Stories, and buy and sell items on Marketplace. In 2024, Facebook’s key features have expanded to include a strong focus on e-commerce, with over a billion users connecting with businesses weekly and new shopping options directly on the platform. Engagement trends show users spending an average of 40 minutes per day, with a greater preference for image posts. Additionally, 81.8% of users access Facebook solely via mobile, underscoring the importance of mobile optimization. Facebook’s integration of AI has significantly enhanced content creation, discovery, and ad targeting, with a particular emphasis on video content. The platform is also investing in virtual and augmented reality technologies, offering novel ways for businesses to engage with their audience.

2. YouTube

Founders: Jawed Karim, Steve Chen, Chad Hurley

Year founded: 2005

Place of origin: San Mateo, California, United States

Number of monthly active users: 2.49 billion

Key features: Users can upload regular, 3D, 360, and live videos, add annotations (pop-up text messages and links) and cards (interactive clickable CTAs) to their videos, subscribe to channels, receive notifications, and react to and comment on videos. In 2024, YouTube continues to dominate as a leading video-sharing platform, with a notable trend towards longer video content, reflecting user demand for more in-depth entertainment and information. This shift sees videos ranging from two to five minutes in length becoming more prevalent, catering to an audience increasingly using social media for both entertainment and information seeking. The platform remains a key player in digital marketing, with businesses and creators leveraging its extensive reach – YouTube notably outperforms traditional TV networks in reaching adults aged 18-24 on mobile devices alone. This wide demographic appeal, coupled with YouTube’s ongoing innovations in content creation and viewer engagement, solidifies its position as a pivotal platform in the evolving landscape of social media and digital content.

3. WhatsApp

Founders: Jan Koum, Brian Acton

Year founded: 2009

Place of origin: California, United States

Number of monthly active users: 2 billion

Key features: Users can send messages, make voice and video calls, record voice messages, create group chats, send photos, GIFs, PDFs, slideshows, and more. In 2024, WhatsApp remains a leader in the messaging app market, renowned for its simplicity and end-to-end encryption. As a platform under the Meta umbrella, it continues to play a crucial role in connecting users worldwide through text, voice, and video calls. The app’s user base values its reliability and user-friendly interface, making it a staple in daily communication for personal and business use. WhatsApp has also been integrating more business-friendly features, catering to the growing trend of businesses using messaging apps for customer service and engagement. This includes tools for businesses to connect with customers, showcase products, and facilitate transactions seamlessly within the app. WhatsApp’s commitment to privacy and expanding functionalities ensures its ongoing popularity and utility in an increasingly digital and interconnected world.

4. Instagram

Founders: Kevin Systrom, Mark Krieger, Facebook  

Year founded: 2010

Place of origin: San Francisco, California, United States

Number of monthly active users: 2 billion

Key features: Users can upload photos and videos and edit them using filters, create post captions using hashtags to improve discoverability, geotag posts, follow other users’ feeds, upload photos and videos into Stories, discover content in the “Explore” section, upload vertical video content to IGTV, and send private messages to other users. Instagram continues to evolve as a dynamic and versatile social media platform, diversifying its content offerings to include a mix of short-form videos, static posts, and Stories. The platform’s emphasis on visual storytelling and creative expression remains a key attraction for both users and marketers. Instagram’s Reels feature, now allowing videos up to 15 minutes, reflects a shift towards more substantial, engaging content alongside its staple of shorter, snappy videos. The platform also maintains a strong focus on influencer marketing and e-commerce, providing businesses and creators with sophisticated tools to connect with audiences and showcase products. With these developments, Instagram successfully balances its appeal between entertainment, information, and shopping, catering to a broad spectrum of user interests and behaviors.

5. WeChat

Founder: Zhang Xiaolong  

Year founded: 2011

Place of origin: Guangzhou, China

Number of monthly active users: 1.31 billion

Key features: WeChat, the multifaceted app, remains a cornerstone in China’s digital landscape, providing an all-encompassing user experience that blends social networking, messaging, and financial transactions. Its versatility is a standout feature, encompassing everything from daily communication to online shopping and bill payments, all within a single platform. WeChat’s ‘Mini Programs’ continue to be a groundbreaking feature, allowing users to access a variety of services without leaving the app. These include shopping, booking taxis, and even municipal services, reflecting WeChat’s deep integration into everyday life in China. The platform’s ability to continuously adapt and introduce innovative features keeps it at the forefront of social media trends, maintaining its status as an indispensable tool in the digital life of its vast user base.

6. TikTok

Founder: ByteDance 

Year founded: 2016

Place of origin: Beijing, China

Number of monthly active users: 1.09 billion

Key features: TikTok maintains its position as a powerhouse in the realm of social media, primarily due to its captivating short-form video content that resonates strongly with a younger demographic. The platform’s algorithm, renowned for its ability to tailor content to individual preferences, continues to drive user engagement and content discoverability. With a user base predominantly composed of Gen Z and Millennials, TikTok has become a cultural phenomenon, influencing trends and entertainment. The platform’s unique appeal lies in its blend of entertainment, creativity, and authenticity, allowing users to create and share content that is both relatable and entertaining. As a result, TikTok remains a key destination for marketers aiming to reach a youthful and engaged audience, solidifying its role as a leader in the evolution of social media content and trends.

7. (Facebook) Messenger

Founder: Facebook

Year founded: 2011

Place of origin: California, United States

Number of monthly active users: 1.03 billion

Key features: Messenger, as part of the Meta ecosystem, continues to thrive as a key messaging platform, enhancing its features to cater to a diverse range of communication needs. The app distinguishes itself with a focus on both personal and business communications, integrating seamlessly with Facebook’s other services. This integration allows for a smooth transition between social networking and private messaging, making it convenient for users to connect with friends, family, and business contacts. For businesses, Messenger offers robust tools for customer service and engagement, including automated responses and chatbots, facilitating efficient and personalized customer interactions. The platform’s continuous improvements in user experience and functionality make it a preferred choice for real-time communication, both for casual chats and professional exchanges.

8. LinkedIn

Founders: Konstantin Guericke, Jean-Luc Vaillant, Reid Hoffman, Allen Blue, Eric Ly

Year founded: 2002

Place of origin: Mountain View, California, USA

Number of monthly active users: 930 million

Key features: LinkedIn, the premier professional networking platform, continues to solidify its position as the go-to digital space for professionals and businesses. The platform stands out for its focus on professional development, job seeking, and industry networking, offering a unique blend of content that includes industry news, professional insights, and career opportunities. With a user base primarily composed of working professionals, LinkedIn is a pivotal tool for B2B marketing, talent acquisition, and thought leadership. The platform has been enhancing its features to foster better brand-influencer collaborations, especially with the introduction of tools for tracking branded content campaigns. LinkedIn’s evolving functionality and focus on professional content make it an invaluable resource for individuals and organizations aiming to build professional networks and promote business growth in an increasingly digital workplace.

9. Telegram

Founder: Nikolai and Pavel Durov  

Year founded: 2013

Place of origin: Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Number of monthly active users: 800 million

Key features: Telegram, with its steadfast commitment to security and privacy, has emerged as a popular alternative in the messaging app landscape. Renowned for its encryption and self-destructing messages, the platform appeals to users seeking more privacy-focused communication. Beyond its core messaging features, Telegram offers unique elements like large group chats, channels, and bots, providing a versatile communication experience. These features are particularly attractive for communities and businesses looking for secure and efficient ways to disseminate information and interact with large audiences. Telegram’s ongoing updates and user-centric approach, prioritizing security without compromising on functionality, make it a preferred choice for users who value privacy in their digital interactions.

10. Snapchat

Founders: Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, Reggie Brown

Year founded: 2011

Place of origin: California, USA

Number of monthly active users: 750 million

Key features: Snapchat remains a dynamic force in social media, especially among younger users, with its unique focus on ephemeral content and innovative augmented reality (AR) features. The platform’s appeal lies in its creative and playful user experience, offering a suite of AR filters and lenses that continue to attract and engage its audience. Snapchat’s Stories feature, allowing users to create and share content that disappears after 24 hours, emphasizes spontaneity and authenticity, distinguishing it from other platforms. Additionally, the platform has been actively evolving to include more interactive and engaging content types, like Snap Maps and Discover, catering to the preferences of its youthful demographic. Snapchat’s commitment to constant innovation in AR and ephemeral content keeps it at the forefront of social media trends, particularly appealing to those seeking a more casual and visually engaging social experience.

11. Douyin

Founder: ByteDance 

Year founded: 2016

Place of origin: Beijing, China

Number of monthly active users: 730 million

Key features: Douyin, the Chinese counterpart to TikTok, continues to be a prominent player in the short-video landscape in China. It serves as a platform where users engage with a wide range of content, from entertainment to educational videos. Douyin’s algorithm effectively tailors content to user preferences, fostering high levels of engagement. The app also plays a significant role in influencer marketing and e-commerce within China, providing brands and creators with a platform to connect with a large and diverse audience. The integration of various interactive features, such as live streaming and AR filters, enhances the user experience. While similar to TikTok in its core functionalities, Douyin is tailored to the Chinese market, reflecting local trends and user behaviors, and maintaining a strong position in China’s digital ecosystem.

12. Kuaishou

Founder: Hua Su and Cheng Yixiao 

Year founded: 2011

Place of origin: Beijing, China

Number of monthly active users: 640 million

Key features: Kuaishou, another significant platform in the Chinese social media landscape, is recognized for its strong community focus and user-generated content. The platform appeals to a broad audience, offering a diverse array of videos that range from lifestyle and entertainment to more grassroots, everyday content. Kuaishou’s strength lies in its ability to foster a sense of community among its users, encouraging interaction and content sharing. The platform is also known for its live-streaming features, which have become a popular avenue for real-time engagement and e-commerce activities. Kuaishou’s approach to content and community engagement, while similar in some aspects to other short-video platforms, is distinguished by its emphasis on authenticity and relatable content, resonating well with its user base.

13. Weibo

Founder: Sina Corporation 

Year founded: 2009

Place of origin: China

Number of monthly active users: 586 million

Key features: Weibo, often referred to as China’s answer to Twitter, maintains its status as a key microblogging and social networking platform. It serves as a digital hub for a wide range of content, including news, celebrity updates, and user-generated posts. Weibo’s format encourages real-time discussions and rapid dissemination of information, making it a go-to platform for staying updated on current events and trends. The platform also plays a significant role in influencer marketing within China, offering a space for brands and public figures to engage with a large and diverse audience. While Weibo incorporates features seen in other social media platforms, its broad appeal in China is marked by its blend of public discourse, entertainment, and a window into the daily lives of its users.

14. QQ

Founder: Shenzhen Tencent Computer System Co., Ltd.  

Year founded: 1999

Place of origin: Shenzhen, China

Number of monthly active users: 572 million

Key features: QQ, a longstanding instant messaging software in China, continues to be a popular choice for online communication, particularly among younger demographics. The platform, known for its range of features that extend beyond messaging, includes online social games, music, shopping, and microblogging. QQ’s appeal also lies in its interactive elements like customizable avatars and emoticons, which enhance the user experience. The platform’s ability to integrate various forms of entertainment and social interaction within its interface keeps it relevant and appealing, especially to users looking for a comprehensive online social experience that combines communication with leisure activities. Despite the rise of newer social media platforms, QQ maintains a loyal user base, owed in part to its adaptation to changing user preferences and technological advancements.

15. QZone

Founder: Tencent 

Year founded: 2005

Place of origin: China

Number of monthly active users: 517 million

Key features: Qzone has carved out a significant niche in the realm of social networking in China, offering users a platform where they can express themselves through various multimedia formats. This platform stands out for its diary-like interface, where users share updates, photos, and music, creating a vibrant and personalized digital scrapbook. Its appeal is further enhanced by the integration of interactive games and entertainment options, making it more than just a social network but a comprehensive online hub for personal expression and leisure. Qzone’s enduring popularity is a testament to its ability to cater to the diverse needs of its user base, offering a unique blend of personalization, social connectivity, and entertainment.

16. Reddit

Founders: Steve Huffman, Aaron Swartz, Alexis Ohanian

Year founded: 2005

Place of origin: San Francisco, California, USA

Number of monthly active users: 500 million

Key features: Users can submit content such as links, text posts, and images to the site, rate content by upvoting or downvoting posts, contribute to ongoing conversations by adding comments, earn “karma” that reflects their position within the Reddit community, and start conversations by creating topical threads also known as “subreddits.” Reddit stands as a unique and influential platform in the social media landscape, characterized by its community-driven content and diverse array of discussion forums. This platform distinguishes itself with a focus on user-generated content, ranging from personal stories to expert discussions across various fields. Reddit’s structure allows users to upvote or downvote content, promoting a democratic approach to content visibility. The platform is also known for its robust conversation threads, where users engage in detailed discussions, debates, and information sharing. This emphasis on community and content depth makes Reddit a go-to resource for those seeking niche communities, in-depth knowledge, and diverse perspectives. Reddit’s role as a space for open discourse and community engagement marks it as a distinctive and valuable player in the social media world.

17. Pinterest

Founders: Paul Sciarra, Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp

Year founded: 2009

Place of origin: California, USA

Number of monthly active users: 450 million

Key features: Users can upload images from websites (known as “Pins”) and add them to thematic boards, create idea-based sections within individual boards, save Pins from other users’ boards, follow users, topics, or boards, discover content with Guided Search offering keyword suggestions, find content inspired by saved Pins in the “more ideas” tab, and receive content recommendations based on recent activity. Pinterest has established itself as a key platform for visual discovery and inspiration, catering to users interested in a wide array of topics from fashion and home décor to recipes and DIY projects. What sets Pinterest apart is its focus on personal interests and planning, offering users a space to curate and save ideas through ‘pins’. The platform also serves as a powerful tool for brands, particularly in lifestyle and creative sectors, to visually showcase their products and inspire potential customers. The use of boards allows for organized collection and sharing of ideas, appealing to users who enjoy categorizing their interests and projects. Pinterest’s emphasis on visual content, combined with its unique functionality for planning and organizing, continues to attract a user base keen on exploration, creativity, and personal growth.

18. X (formerly Twitter)

Founders: Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, Evan Williams, Biz Stone 

Year founded: 2006

Place of origin: San Francisco, California, USA

Number of monthly active users: 393 million

Key features: X, formerly known as Twitter, remains a significant platform in the social media world, primarily for real-time information sharing and public discourse. Users can post statuses called “tweets” containing images, videos, and hashtags, like, retweet, bookmark, and comment on tweets, follow other users, create or subscribe to a list of accounts, send private messages, and discover trending topics in the “Explore” section. The platform is renowned for its brevity and immediacy, enabling users to share updates, opinions, and news through concise posts. X’s strength lies in its role as a digital public square where diverse voices and perspectives converge, offering a pulse on current events, trending topics, and public opinion. The platform has become a valuable resource for individuals, businesses, and media organizations alike, providing a space for marketing, brand engagement, and community building. X’s unique position in facilitating open and timely conversations continues to make it a vital tool for those seeking to stay informed and connected in an ever-evolving digital landscape.

19. JOSH

Founder: VerSe Innovation 

Year founded: 2020

Place of origin: Bangalore, India

Number of monthly active users: 300 million

Key features: Josh, emerging as a popular platform in markets like India, is capturing attention with its localized and diverse content. This platform is carving out a space for itself by focusing on content that resonates with local cultures and languages, offering users a platform that feels more personalized and relevant to their experiences. Josh is tapping into the growing appetite for short-form video content, providing creators with tools to produce engaging and creative videos. This focus on regional relevance and user engagement is positioning Josh as a noteworthy player in the competitive world of social media, particularly in markets where localized content is highly valued.

20. Teams

Founder: Microsoft

Year founded: 2017

Place of origin: Redmond, Washington, USA

Number of monthly active users: 300 million

Key features: Teams, developed by Microsoft, has become an essential tool in the realm of professional communication and collaboration. Distinguishing itself in the market, Teams offers a comprehensive suite of features that facilitate not just messaging and video conferencing, but also project collaboration and integration with various Microsoft Office tools. Its user-friendly interface and seamless integration with other Microsoft products make it a top choice for businesses and organizations seeking a reliable platform for workplace communication and collaboration. Teams’ capacity to support large-scale virtual meetings, along with robust security features, positions it as a preferred tool for companies adapting to hybrid and remote work environments. This focus on enhancing workplace efficiency and connectivity is what defines Teams in the competitive landscape of professional communication tools.

21. Quora

Founder: Adam D’Angelo and Charlie Cheever

Year founded: 2009

Place of origin: Mountain View, California, USA

Number of monthly active users: 300 million

Key features: Quora has carved a niche as a platform for knowledge sharing and intellectual exchange, where users engage in asking questions and providing insightful answers. Distinct from other social media platforms, Quora’s focus is on fostering a community where curiosity and expertise converge, allowing for deep dives into a vast array of topics. The platform attracts professionals, experts, and enthusiasts alike, each contributing to a rich tapestry of knowledge across various fields. Quora’s model, based on upvoting answers, helps in surfacing the most relevant and high-quality content. The platform’s commitment to being a hub for credible information and diverse perspectives has made it a valued resource for those seeking in-depth answers and discussions on a wide range of subjects.

22. Skype

Founder: Microsoft

Year founded: 2003

Place of origin: Redmond, Washington, USA

Number of monthly active users: 300 million

Key features: Skype, a pioneer in the realm of video and voice calling over the internet, has established itself as a dependable tool for both personal and professional communication. Known for its straightforward and user-friendly interface, Skype provides high-quality video and audio calls, group calls, and messaging services. It stands out for its wide accessibility across various devices and platforms, making it convenient for users with different technological preferences. Skype’s functionality extends beyond basic communication, offering features like screen sharing, which is particularly useful in professional settings for presentations and collaborative work. Despite the emergence of numerous communication apps, Skype’s reliability and comprehensive feature set ensure its continued relevance as a communication tool for people and businesses around the world.

23. Baidu Tieba

Founder: Robin Li 

Year founded: 2003

Place of origin: Beijing, China

Number of monthly active users: 300 million

Key features: Tieba, operated by Baidu, is a notable platform in China, functioning as a large forum-based social network where users engage around specific topics or interests. The platform is structured around “bars” or forums dedicated to diverse subjects, ranging from pop culture to personal hobbies. Tieba’s appeal lies in its community-focused nature, enabling users to connect and discuss shared interests in dedicated spaces. It offers a blend of content types, including text, images, and videos, fostering rich, topic-centered discussions. The platform’s user-driven content creation and moderation model has made it a go-to place for niche communities and in-depth discussions on a variety of subjects, positioning Tieba as a key player in China’s social networking scene.

24. Viber

Founders: Talmon Marco, Igor Magazinnik

Year founded: 2010

Place of origin: Cyprus 

Number of monthly active users: 260 million

Key features: Viber, a versatile messaging app, supports a diverse range of operating systems and boasts a significant global user base. As of 2022, it had 1.3 billion registered users, with a strong presence in Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the Philippines, and Greece. The platform’s user demographics are slightly more male-dominated, with the majority being in the 25-34 age group. Daily, the platform sees around 7.5 billion messages exchanged among its users. Viber stands out with its business model, which includes subscription and credit fees for international calls (Viber Out), and in-app sticker sales. It also generates revenue from Viber for Business.

25. imo

Founder: Pagebites, Inc.

Year founded: 2007

Place of origin: Palo Alto, California, USA

Number of monthly active users: 200 million

Key features: imo, a messaging and video calling app, is recognized for its global reach and accessibility, particularly in markets where internet connectivity is limited or data costs are a concern. The app provides a platform for communication through text, voice, and video calls, along with group chat functionalities. It is favored in regions where users seek cost-effective and reliable ways to stay connected with friends and family. imo’s user-friendly interface and cross-platform compatibility contribute to its widespread use. The app’s focus on providing essential communication tools while maintaining low data usage has made it a popular choice among a diverse user base.

The Takeaway

Social media is surely a busy environment with platforms constantly striving to grow their user bases. When choosing a platform for your business, you shouldn’t just look at the audience size, though, and instead, think of where your target audience is. Focusing all your efforts on billions large Facebook might be tempting, but if the group you want to reach is mostly on a much smaller Snapchat, your time, money, and energy might go to waste. 

Which of the biggest social media sites are you leveraging for your business? And are you planning on building a presence on social networks you haven’t previously used?

See also: What are the most visited websites in the world?