With a huge 4.6 billion people (or more than half the world’s population) now using social media in some form, for an average of two and a half hours each day, it’s difficult to dismiss it as a way to reach new customers or simply to gather information on public opinion.
The latest report by Hootsuite estimates that more than 424 million social media users (or 10% of the current total users) signed up in the last 12 months, and that individuals use an average of seven different platforms each. Social media use is also split fairly equally among men and women (female users accounting for 46.1% of the total to male users at 53.9%).
But all social media platforms are not equal, with many having very distinct demographics, locations and functions.
Here’s a breakdown of the current top 10 most used social media platforms:
Despite being one of the oldest platforms in a fast-paced tech world, Facebook is still number one when it comes to sheer numbers. With 2.9 billion users worldwide, generating a value of $85.96 billion, Facebook’s legacy status as the original social media platform is bolstered by its current status as the most lucrative and powerful.
You may not think of YouTube as a social media platform, but with its user-generated content, and ability to add and message other users, YouTube ticks some of the main boxes that make social media what it is. There are currently 2.2 billion YouTube users, generating $28.8 billion of value.
Another social media platform you may not think of as such, but WhatsApp users can broadcast content, update statuses and create communities, all within what may seem like just a messaging service. It has two billion users right now, and between them they are worth $5.5 billion.
Also with two billion users is the photo-sharing platform Instagram, which comes in below WhatsApp purely for its lower value of $24 billion. This may be surprising to those familiar with the platform, which – unlike WhatsApp – allows the running of ads.
Surprisingly for a platform that hits headlines regularly for its viral youth and celebrity content, TikTok only comes in at number five. This is because, due to its relative newness, it currently only has one billion users so far. Nonetheless, it’s worth an impressive $11 billion right now.
A more established messaging and story-sharing platform, Snapchat is another platform used primarily by younger audiences. It currently has a user database of 538 million, and is worth $1.06 billion.
Anyone creating a collection of images from around the internet will find Pinterest a vital tool, whether that’s professional creatives making mood boards or individuals trying to find their ideal house or hair inspiration. The platform has 444 million users, along with a value of $575 million.
A platform in the style of a message board, Reddit users create public discussions with longform content, organized into different broad and also more specific topics. It has 430 million users and a value of $289.9 million.
This business-focused platform is a place for users to create profiles related specifically for their work, and to network with other professionals. It has 250 million users and is currently worth $12.4 billion.
For such a well-established platform, Twitter surprisingly only comes in at number 10, with 217 million users. The platform is a place for sharing shortform content, usually text only, and can be a place which sparks argument among strangers more than any other platform. This may account for its lesser appeal among those using social media for feelgood entertainment or conversation among friends.