Social media are platforms that provide opportunities to communicate and network with other people. Effective Social Media Marketing Tips for Small Business Owners describes ways to use social media. This article describes which social media platforms are the best to use. At the end of the day, to get the best results through social media, you have to go where your potential clients are. Below is a description of popular social media platforms, who uses them, and what they are used for.
Popular Social Media Network Websites
The following top 10 most popular social media network websites and platforms are ranked by the number of active user accounts (in millions) as of July 2018.
Facebook = 2196
YouTube = 1900
WhatsApp = 1500
Facebook Messenger = 1300
WeChat = 1040
Instagram = 1000
QQ = 806
QZone = 563
Doujin / Tik Tok = 500
Sina Weibo = 411
Twitter = 336
Reddit = 330
Skype = 300
LinkedIn = 294
Snapchat = 255
Pinterest = 200
1: Facebook / WhatsApp
Facebook is used by about 2196 million people worldwide. It is available in over 100 languages. Facebook is used to post content, share photos and videos, tag content, promote events, chat with people, and so much more. It is based in Menlo Park in Northern California. WhatsApp is a cross-platform messaging and Voice over IP (VoIP) service owned by Facebook. This application allows the sending of text messages, voice calls, video calls, images, documents, and other media. The application runs from a mobile device and requires users to provide a standard cellular mobile number.
2: YouTube / Google+
YouTube is used by 1900 million people worldwide. It is available in over 75 languages. YouTube is used to upload videos and comment on them. YouTube makes it easy to attach large videos to almost any website. It is based in San Bruno in Northern California. YouTube is a subsidiary of Google. Google+ is a failed attempt at a social media platform. Although it still exists, it only has about 34 million unique visitors per month. The best way to use Google+ is as an integrated marketing system through Google for content bookmarking, loading videos (YouTube), business listings, and PPC ads.
Instagram is primarily a photo content sharing site. It also has messaging and video sharing capabilities. It has 1000 million active users. Instagram was developed by Facebook. Instagram’s users are divided equally with 50% iPhone owners and 50% Android owners. 68% of Instagram users are female while 32% are male. 17% of US adults who live in urban areas use Instagram while only 11% of adults in suburban and rural areas do so. Only 7% of daily photo uploads, among the top four photo-sharing platforms, come from Instagram. 90% users are under the age of 35.
Twitter is an American news, social networking, and microblogging service. Twitter messages or Tweets were originally restricted to 140 characters, but on November 7, 2017, this limit was doubled. Twitter, Inc. is based in San Francisco, California, and has more than 25 offices around the world. In 2013, it was one of the ten most-visited websites and has been described as “the SMS of the Internet”. A 2016 Pew research poll found that Twitter is used by 24% of all online US adults. It was equally popular with men and women (24% and 25% of online Americans respectively), but more popular with younger (36% of 18-29 year olds) generations.
In 2009, Pear Analytics analyzed 2,000 tweets (originating from the United States and in English) over a two-week period and separated them into six categories:
Pointless babble = 40%
Conversation = 38%
Pass-along value = 9%
Self-promotion = 6%
Spam = 4%
News = 4%
Reddit is a social news aggregation, web content rating, and discussion website. Registered members submit content to the website such as links, text posts, and images, which are then voted up or down by other members. Posts are organized by subject into user-created boards. Content rankings are based on up-votes by users. 57.4% of its user base coming from the United States, followed by the United Kingdom at 7.5%, and Canada at 6.3%. Reddit was founded by University of Virginia roommates Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian in 2005. Condé Nast Publications acquired the site in October 2006. Reddit is based in San Francisco, California.
Skype is telecommunications software that specializes in video chat, voice calls, and instant messaging. Users can exchange media and documents through the service. Skype was developed by Swedes, Danes, and Estonians. In September 2005, eBay acquired Skype for $2.6 billion. Microsoft bought Skype in May 2011 for $8.5 billion. Skype headquarters is in Luxembourg.
LinkedIn is mainly used for professional networking, including employers posting jobs and job seekers posting their resumes. LinkedIn allows members (both workers and employers) to create profiles and “connections” to each other in an online social network which may represent real-world professional relationships. Microsoft acquired LinkedIn for $26.4 billion on December 8, 2016. It is based in Sunnyvale, California.
Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app created by former students at Stanford University. One of the principal features of Snapchat is that pictures and messages are only available for a short time before they become inaccessible. Snapchat is a mobile focused application that emphasizes a virtual reality environment. Snapchat’s main demographic has consisted of millennials. The primary use for Snapchat was found to be for comedic or fun content. It is based in Los Angeles, California.
Pinterest is a web and mobile software system to primarily post and find images. It is often used as inspiration and ideas for a variety of things, such as event planning, weddings, clothing, cooking, and much more. It is based in San Francisco, California. The site is most popular with women. In 2012, a report found that 83% of the global users were women. By 2016 the proportion of women users was lower at 60%. In terms of age distribution, the Pinterest demographic closely resembles the U.S. Internet population.
10: Chinese Owned Social Media Apps
WeChat, developed by Tencent Holdings Limited, is a Chinese multi-purpose messaging, social media, and mobile payment app. It was first released in 2011. Described as one of the world’s most powerful apps by Forbes, it is also known as China’s “app for everything” because of its wide range of functions and platforms. In the 2018 Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholders meeting, Charlie Munger identified WeChat as one of the few potential competitors to Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.
Tencent QQ, also known as QQ, is an instant messaging software service developed by Shenzhen Tencent Computer System Co., Ltd. QQ provides online social games, music, shopping, microblogging, movies, and chat. It is the world’s 8th most visited website, according to Alexa.
Qzone is a social networking website created by Tencent Holdings Limited. It allows users to write blogs, keep diaries, send photos, listen to music, and watch videos.
Doujin / Tik Tok is a music video platform and social network created by Toutiao. It is the leading short video platform in Asia and has a vast music video community globally. It allows users to watch musical clips, shoot short 60 second clips and edit them, and add special effects to clips.
Sina Weibo is a microblogging website similar to Twitter. Launched by Sina Corporation, it is one of the most popular social media platforms in China.
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