As the world celebrates Valentine’s Day, here are the 11 most beloved social media networks.
1. Facebook (2.129 billion monthly active users)
If you’re talking about social media, there’s only one place to start: Facebook. Despite its mammoth size, it continues to grow.
Today, close to 30% of the world’s population checks their Facebook account at least once a month. Almost 7 in 10 Americans say they use Facebook and 74% say they use it every day.
2. YouTube (1.5 billion monthly active users)
While YouTube has a smaller global user base than Facebook, more Americans say they use YouTube than other social media platform, according to Pew Research.
Almost 3 in 4 say they access the video player, including 91% of American adults under 30.
3. WhatsApp (1.5 billion monthly active users)
When Facebook bough the message app in 2014, WhatsApp had 450 million monthly active users. It has since tripled in monthly users and recently announced it has more than 1 billion daily users.
WhatsApp has a huge base of global users, which 96% of smartphone owners in India using the chat app.
4. Messenger (1.3 billion monthly active users)
Facebook’s own Messenger is the second most popular chat app in the world. Seventy million people use it every day.
In the western world, Facebook Messenger is the top cross-OS messaging app.
5. WeChat (963 million monthly active users)
While it began as a Chinese messaging app, it has grown to include other mini-apps inside the platform.
Its dominance in China is aided by the communist government, which has heavily censored and outright banned other messaging apps.
6. Instagram (800 million monthly active users)
The picture and video sharing app, now owned by Facebook, captures 35% of Americans and primarily younger users.
More than 3 in 5 adults under 30 say they use Instagram. Close to the same number of users say they are on the app every day.
7. QZone (568 million monthly active users)
Once the most popular social network in China, QZone has declined as WeChat has grown. But it still remains intensely popular.
Users can write blogs, keep diaries, send photos, listen to music, and watch videos.
8. Weibo (376 million monthly active users)
Weibo is essentially China’s version of Twitter. Its name translates from Chinese literally as “microblog.”
There’s no competition from Twitter in China, however, because it’s blocked by the government.
9. Twitter (330 million monthly active users)
After explosive growth from 2010 to 2015, Twitter has leveled off in recent years.
It has an outsized influence, however, as it has become a place where news breaks first—both from reporters and newsmakers themselves.
10. SnapChat (255 million monthly active users)
Among American adults under 30, SnapChat is the third most popular social media platform, behind Facebook and YouTube.
SnapChat also boasts the highest percentage of daily users in the U.S. behind Facebook, with 63% who check it every day.
11. Pinterest (200 million monthly active users)
More than 4 in 10 American women use Pinterest, compared to only 16% of men.
While only YouTube had more U.S. men users than women, according to Pew Research, no other social media platform had the gender gap of Pinterest.
Points of interest
Not surprisingly, Facebook dominates the list, but in more ways than one.
Not only is Facebook the most popular social media network, but Facebook Inc. owns four of the top six most used social media platforms in the world.
Rise of messaging apps
Three of the top five are primarily messaging apps.
Social media is increasingly becoming a place you share information not with everyone, but with select groups or specific individuals.
Decline of text
Microblogging sites like Twitter and Weibo are further down the list than video and photo platforms like YouTube and Instagram.
Now, messaging and microblogging apps are more frequently looking to use images, emojis, and videos.
Aaron Earls is online editor of Facts & Trends. He is also a freelance writer whose work has appeared at numerous sites, including The Washington Post, World Magazine, and Think Christian.