Top 10 Most Popular Social Media Platforms

Whether one likes it or not, social media plays a big and growing role in the modern human’s everyday life. Millions upon millions of people share, like, chat, view, post and befriend through the various social media platforms everyday. But not all social media platforms are equally popular and used. The following ranking shows you the currently most popular social media platforms in the world, based on active users. Note: Messenger apps (such as WhatsApp) are not counted here.

The 10 Most Popular Social Media Platforms in the World

(as of October 2019)

2.4 billion users
1.9 billion users
1.2 billion users
1.1 billion users
530 million users
510 million users
470 million users
360 million users
340 million users
330 million users

1. Facebook

facebook - most popular social media platform

Launched: 2004
Owned by: Facebook

With around 2.4 billion users worldwide, Facebook is the by far most popular social media platform in the world. Facebook was launched in 2004 by then Harvard University student Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg, alongside his roommates at Harvard, first intended to create a photo sharing platform exclusively for Harvard students. Later they also extended the membership possibility to students of the other Ivy league schools. In 2006, Facebook then became free for all and quickly became popular in practically ever corner of the world. Today, around 1/3 of the world’s entire human population has a Facebook account.

2. YouTube

youtube - popular video sharing platform

Launched: 2005
Owned by: Alphabet

YouTube is primarily a video-sharing platform, but these days can also be counted as a social media platform and community. YouTube was launched in 2005 by three former PayPal employees. The site quickly became a success and only one year later, in 2006, it was bought by Google for around $1.7 billion. YouTube today is still owned by Google (more precisely by Alphabet, the parent company behind Google) and still the by far biggest video-sharing website on the internet. With around 1.9 billion users worldwide, it is also the second largest social media platform in the world.

3. WeChat

wechat - chinese social media platform

Launched: 2011
Owned by: Tencent

If you don’t live in China, chances are you have never heard, let alone used WeChat. But the Chinese platform indeed is the world’s third largest social media platform. Founded and owned by Chinese technology corporation giant Tencent, WeChat has currently around 1.2 billion users. Approximately 90% of those live in China. There, WeChat is more than just a social media platform. It has become a super app and “app for everything”. Chinese users use WeChat to share pictures and videos, to communicate, to play games and even to pay electronically. WeChat is far less popular outside, mainly due to the strict censorship on the platform and also its privacy issues (the Chinese government uses the platform for its mass surveillance operation). Still, the fact that practically all of China’s adult population uses WeChat is enough to make the platform the third largest social media platform in the world.

4. Instagram

Instagram social media app

Launched: 2010
Owned by: Facebook

Instagram was developed and launched in 2010 by Stanford University students Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger. The app was originally a photo-sharing platform which quickly became massively popular. In its first year of existence, Instagram already had 10 million users on its platform. In 2012 Facebook then bought Instagram for exactly $1 billion. The popularity of the platform has increased even more rapidly ever since. Today, Instagram has around 1.1 billion active users. It isn’t just a photo-sharing or video-sharing platform these days, but a whole lifestyle has developed around the social media platform.

5. QZone

qzone - social media and messaging

Launched: 2005
Owned by: Tencent

Before there was WeChat, Tencent had first developed QZone in 2005. The platform started as a blogging site for Chinese users, but then quickly evolved into a popular social media platform. Ever since the launch of WeChat, QZone has somewhat lost its popularity among Chinese users. But it is still quite popular as an integrated feature for QQ users, the most popular Chinese instant messaging app which, of course, was and is also founded and owned by Tencent.

6. TikTok

Launched: 2016
Owned by: ByteDance

7. Sina Weibo

Launched: 2009
Owned by: Sina

8. Tumblr

Launched: 2007
Owned by: Automattic

9. Twitter

Launched: 2006
Owned by: Twitter

10. Reddit

Launched: 2005
Owned by: Advance Publications

Never want to miss a fresh new ranking again? Subscribe to our Latest Ranking newsletter!