Social media usage is on the rise. As of 2020, 4.48 billion people were on social media. That’s almost 57% of the world’s population! Over the past few years, various social media platforms have emerged. So, which are the most popular social media platforms 2020 and 2021?
In this post, we’ll discuss the top ten most popular social media platforms in the world. We’ll look at their number of users and what makes them unique.
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
Facebook: Most Popular Social Media Platforms 2020
With over 2 billion active monthly users, Facebook remains the most popular social media platform in the world. Founded in 2004, Facebook is one of the oldest active social media channels. In fact, most millennials using social media started their social journey on Facebook.
Why is Facebook so popular? Some credit for Facebook goes to the nostalgic feeling it creates. With so many social platforms available, Facebook brings nostalgia. The design is pretty much still the same, and people like using it.
An interesting thing about Facebook is that it’s the only social platform popular among older people. A large portion of the user base are people aged over 30.
If you didn’t know, YouTube is a social media platform. And with recently added features like Shorts and Community Section, the engagement on YouTube is as high as any other social channel.
YouTube has over 2 billion active monthly users, second only to Facebook. The growth of YouTube is driven by the content economy. People love consuming content, and YouTube is the perfect place for that. You can find all types of content, from educational to music to comedy. Whether you want to watch a stand-up routine and learn about how blockchain works, you can find it on YouTube.
WhatsApp Messenger is the most popular messaging app and the third-most-popular social media channel in the world. It has over 2 billion monthly active users.
Fun fact: India has the largest number of WhatsApp users. Nearly 400 million Indians use WhatsApp, which is more than the total users of Brazil, the United States, and Indonesia combined.
WhatsApp began as purely a messaging platform where people could send and receive text messages, images, videos, audio, and documents. Later, Facebook took over WhatsApp and launched the Status feature, which turned out to be a major hit.
Next to WhatsApp is Facebook’s in-house messaging app – Facebook Messenger. With 1.3 billion active monthly users, Facebook Messenger is the second-most-popular messaging app and fourth-most-popular social media platform.
Facebook Messenger is one of the oldest existing messaging apps. It was launched as Facebook Chat in 2008 and later revamped and offered as a separate platform in 2010. Facebook also introduced the Stories feature in Messenger.
Instagram: Most Popular Social Media Platforms 2020
Another Facebook-owned platform, Instagram, has over a billion monthly active users. Moreover, it’s one of the most popular social media platforms in 2020 and 2021. No other social channel has exhibited growth like Instagram.
Several reasons have contributed to the growth of Instagram. It was visual-only social media content. It was the perfect platform for people who didn’t want to read the text and just wanted to scroll images and videos.
The content economy has also boosted the growth of Instagram. Almost all content creators, influencers, and even celebrities are on Instagram.
If you haven’t heard of WeChat before, you’re not alone. WeChat is a Chinese messaging app, and the majority of WeChat users are from China. The app works similarly to WhatsApp. You can add contacts and send and receive messages. It also has a Status feature where you can share updates with your contacts.
WeChat has over 1 billion monthly active users. Apart from messaging, WeChat supports payment functionality as well. You can use WePay (a feature of WeChat) to make digital payments in almost any Chinese store.
TikTok: Most Popular Social Media Platforms 2020
Another booming social media platform, TikTok, is another Chinese app that has taken over the world. It had over 700 million monthly active users in 2020, and the number is only increasing. Previously known as Musically, TikTok is a short video platform that allows you to share 15-second vines.
It became a huge success purely because it gave instant gratification to people. You could watch a new video every 15 seconds. It also gave rise to many TikTok stars and social influencers.
QQ is a social messaging platform from Tencent, a company that also owns WeChat. There’s not much difference between QQ and WeChat. Both are messaging apps that allow you to connect with friends and people. QQ, like WeChat, allows you to send text, images, videos, and doc files. You can also do voice and video calls. QQ had over 600 million monthly active users in 2020.
Sina Weibo is like the Twitter of China. It is a microblogging website where users can use hashtags, search people using usernames, and post 140-character posts. Almost all the features on Twitter are available on Sina Weibo. What’s surprising, though, is that it has over 550 million users, which is more than double the users of Twitter (200 million).
Most Popular Social Media Platforms 2020: DouYin
DouYin is nothing but Chinese TikTok. It is a similar platform with almost the same features. The reason we’ve mentioned DouYin separately is that it’s a different app despite the similarities. It has different registration, content, and privacy policies.
Users with a TikTok account can’t access DouYin and vice versa. Moreover, users on one platform can’t view the content on the other app. They’re entirely different platforms.
DouYin has more features for businesses. It allows companies to link products directly to their website to drive direct sales. DouYin has over 300 monthly active users, almost all based in China.
Conclusion: Most Popular Social Media Platforms 2020 and 2021
Social media usage will only increase in the future, paving the way for new social media platforms. Currently, Facebook dominates the social media space, as four out of five most popular social media channels are owned by Facebook. Chinese companies have also managed to acquire a substantial market share in the social media industry.