Whether you are a seasoned social media marketer, a marketer looking to venture into social media marketing, or a business owner looking to leverage social media, it’s helpful to know about the most popular social media sites out there right now. This will allow you to maximize your brand reach on social media, engage with the right people, and achieve your social media goals.
Of course, it isn’t only about the size of the social media sites. It’s also whether the social networking site is a right fit for your business and you. Does it fit your brand image? Is your target audience using that social media site? How many social media sites can you manage at once?
To make things easier, we researched and compiled information about the top social media sites in 2023. Some will be familiar to you, while others might sound new. We recommend reading through this list to learn more about the social media apps that might be great for your brand. And remember, you don’t have to be on every social media site to have a successful brand.
The top 21 social networking sites of 2023
The rankings on our list are based on the relevance to brands and creators, as well as the number of Monthly Active Users (MAUs).
1. Facebook — 2.96 billion MAUs
More than 200 million businesses (mostly small businesses) use Facebook tools, and more than seven million advertisers actively promote their business on Facebook, which makes it a pretty safe bet if you want to have a presence on social media.
It’s easy to get started on Facebook because almost all content formats work great on Facebook — text, images, video content, and Stories. But the Facebook algorithm prioritizes content that sparks conversations and meaningful interactions between people, especially those from family and friends.
To learn more about how to start conversations on Facebook, check out our guide to marketing your business on Facebook — and measuring your results.
2. YouTube — 2.2 billion MAUs
YouTube is a video-sharing platform where users watch a billion hours of videos daily. Besides being the second largest social media site, YouTube is often called the second largest search engine after Google, its parent company.
So if you use video to promote your business, then you definitely need to add YouTube to your marketing strategy. To get started, here’s how to create a YouTube channel for your brand. And to help your videos get discovered by more people, we recommend reading up on YouTube SEO or considering advertising on YouTube to increase your reach.
3. WhatsApp — 2 billion MAUs
WhatsApp is a messaging app used by people in over 180 countries. Initially, people originally used WhatsApp to send text messages to their family and friends. Gradually, people started communicating with businesses via WhatsApp.
WhatsApp’s business platform allows businesses to provide customer support and share updates with customers about their purchases. For small businesses, there’s the WhatsApp Business app, while enterprise businesses can use the WhatsApp Business API.
As the most widely used messaging platform, WhatsApp can be a great customer service channel for your business. Check out these WhatsApp Business user success stories.
4. Instagram — 2 billion MAUs
As a visual social networking platform, Instagram is the place for showcasing your products or services with photos or videos. On the app, you can share a wide range of content such as photos, videos, Stories, reels, live videos, and IGTV for longer-form videos.
As a brand, you can create an Instagram business profile, which provides rich analytics of your profile and posts and the ability to schedule Instagram posts using third-party tools. It’s also a great place to get user-generated content from your audience because users frequently share content and tag brands.
To help you use Instagram like a pro, we have a complete guide to Instagram marketing.
5. WeChat — 1.26 billion MAUs
WeChat was released in 2011 by Tencent, one of China’s biggest tech companies. Like WhatsApp and Messenger, WeChat was originally a messaging app, but it’s evolved into an all-in-one platform. Besides messaging and calling, users can shop online, pay bills, buy groceries, transfer money, make reservations, book taxis, and more.
WeChat is the most popular social media platform in China and other parts of Asia. So if you want to boost your brand in China (where popular social networks like Facebook and Twitter are banned), WeChat is a good alternative. You can run ads on the official WeChat account or on WeChat Moments. There are also many WeChat-based influencers who can help your brand reach millions of Chinese consumers.
6. TikTok — 1 billion MAUs
TikTok (known as Douyin in China) is a short-form video-sharing app. Despite only launching in 2017, it’s one of the fastest-growing apps in the world and recently overtook Google as the most visited internet site.
TikTok allows users to create and share videos between 15 and 60 seconds long, and the app has a vast catalog of sound effects, music snippets, and filters to enhance the videos and make them more appealing. You can find videos relating to almost all interests, ranging from lip-syncs, dancing, and challenges to DIY tricks and make-up tutorials. About 47.4% of TikTok users in the U.S. are aged 10-29. So if your target demographic is young, then TikTok is a great platform for your business to be on.
7. Sina Weibo — 573 million MAUs
“Weibo” (微博) means “micro-blog” in Chinese. Launched by the Chinese technology company Sina Corporation in 2009, Sina Weibo or simply Weibo is, you guessed it, a microblogging platform that compares to Twitter and Instagram.
Through Weibo, users can post images, videos, and stories, see trending topics, use hashtags in posts, and use the platform for instant messaging.
In comparison to WeChat, Sina Weibo has a younger demographic, and it offers more informational and trending content. In fact, The New York Times said Weibo is the place to be if you “want to go viral” in China. Weibo also allows businesses to set up official and verified accounts to communicate with their followers and to use paid advertising.
8. QQ — 538.91 million MAUs
QQ was released in China in 1999 by Tencent. Prior to the launch of WeChat, QQ was the number one Chinese messaging app. Besides its instant messaging features, QQ also enables users to decorate their avatars, watch movies, play online games, stream music, shop online, blog, and make payments.
While WeChat has become the market leader in China, QQ is still popular with younger users. It’s also used in 80 countries and is available in many other languages. One of the upsides of QQ is you don't need a phone number to sign up. This attracts young people who don't have mobile devices but use the desktop version.
However, the largest audience for QQ is in the workforce. QQ’s desktop messenger is popular for its ease of use and ability to transfer files greater than 25 MB, which WeChat doesn’t allow.
9. Telegram — 550 million MAUs
Telegram is a free messaging app that works across multiple devices with no limits on media sizes.
There are several ways brands can make use of Telegram, besides providing one-on-one customer support. For example, brands can create chatbots for the Telegram platform or make use of Telegram's channel feature to broadcast messages to up to 200,000 people.
10. Snapchat — 557 million MAUs
Snapchat focuses on photos and short videos (known as snaps) shared between friends. It made the vertical video format popular, which eventually proliferated on other social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok. But the rise of Instagram Stories, specifically, seems to have hindered Snapchat’s growth and marketers’ interest in using Snapchat for their brands in general.
Nevertheless, 69% of U.S. teens say they use Snapchat. So if your target audience is mostly teenagers, you should consider using the app. If you’re not familiar with Snapchat, check out our beginner’s guide to Snapchat. Or if you’re undecided between Snapchat and Instagram, we wrote a little comparison of Snapchat and Instagram for brands.
11. Kuaishou — 573 million MAUs
Kuaishou is a Chinese rival to Douyin or TikTok. Like its competitors, Kuaishou allows users to overlay text and stickers to images or videos and add sound bites. Users can also live stream content to their followers on the platform or record longer videos.
Compared to TikTok, Kuaishou is more popular with an older audience, especially in rural parts of China. The app also relies more on e-commerce revenue than on advertising revenue.
12. X (Formerly Twitter) — 556 million MAUs
X, a platform with about 556 million monthly active users (as of January 2023), invites an audience that loves to post news, entertainment, sports, politics, and more. What makes the platform once known as Twitter different from most other social networking sites is it strongly emphasizes real-time information — things happening and trending right now — and in just 280 characters (140 for Japanese, Korean, and Chinese).
Many brands use Twitter as an alternate customer service channel. According to advertisers on Twitter, more than 80 percent of social customer service requests happen on Twitter. And Salesforce calls Twitter the “New 1-800 Number for Customer Service.”
If you’re new to the platform, check out our Twitter Tips for Beginners. After you’ve mastered the basics, explore the 20 Hidden Ways to Use Advanced Search for Marketing and Sales.
13. Qzone — 553.5 million MAUs
Like Facebook, users can also connect with friends, see a feed of updates, comment, share or react to posts, and update cover or profile photos.
14. Pinterest — 444 million MAUs
Pinterest is a one-stop shop for inspiration and discovering new products and ideas. On Pinterest, users "pin" photos that link to websites, product pages, blog posts, and other content across the internet. It's a great platform for driving traffic to your website, and Pinterest users are 7x more likely to purchase products they've pinned.
Popular topics and themes on the social platform include fashion, beauty, home, garden, and DIY. So if your business operates in any one of those industries, then you should highly consider using Pinterest marketing to gain exposure for your business.
15. Reddit — 430 million MAUs
Reddit, known for its popular upvoting feature, has been called the "front page of the internet," thanks to its mix of current events, celebrity "ask me anything" (AMA) events, and in-depth discussions of niche topics.
There are subreddits (i.e., dedicated forums) for pretty much anything under the sun. Subreddits, however, have different levels of engagement, so it’s great to research to see if there are popular subreddits your brand can be part of. For example, if your business is a beauty brand, you could join r/beauty. Be aware, though, most subreddits do not allow self-promotion. The aim is to engage with members in the respective subreddits by asking and answering questions, sharing tips and resources, and participating in discussions.
16. LinkedIn — 424 million MAUs
At roughly, 424 million monthly active users, LinkedIn has evolved from a simple job search engine and resume site into a professional networking platform where industry experts share content, network, and build their personal brand. It has also become a place for businesses to establish thought leadership in their industries and attract top talent.
To help you grow your LinkedIn Business Page, we have written a simple five-step strategy. LinkedIn also offers advertising opportunities, including the ability to send personalized ads to users’ inboxes.
17. Quora — 300 million MAUs
Quora is a community-based Q&A website and app where people can find information on a wide variety of topics. Questions and answers are user-ranked based on views, votes, reviews, and shares.
As a brand, you can create a Quora page for your business or use employee advocates to answer questions about your products or services or about topics in your industry. Quora also has an ads platform you can use to advertise your business. And because 63% of users research major online purchases, it's a great place to reach customers actively looking for a product or service.
18. Discord — 150 million MAUs
Discord is a communication platform primarily designed for gamers. It allows users to create servers, join communities, voice chat, and text chat with others in real-time.
Discord is popular due to its ease of use, customizable features, and compatibility with various devices. It has expanded beyond gaming communities and is now used by businesses, educational institutions, and other groups.
19. Twitch — 140 million MAUs
Twitch is a live-streaming platform for gamers. It offers video game content and other forms of entertainment. Users can create a channel, stream their gameplay, and interact with their audience through chat.
Twitch has become a central hub for the gaming and esports communities. It's a place where many professional players, teams, and tournaments use it to broadcast their matches. Twitch's success is driven by its community-driven approach, allowing creators to build a dedicated following and earn money through subscriptions, donations, and sponsorships.
20. Tumblr — 135 million MAUs
Users can share content in different formats: text, photos, videos, GIFs, audio clips, links, and more. The site's users share content on every topic, niche, and interest imaginable.
Tumblr also lets you customize your blog design. For this reason, many users opt to use their Tumblr account as their website.
21. Mastodon — 2.5 million MAUs
Mastodon is a decentralized, open-source software that allows users to set up servers to communicate with each other. Users can create posts of up to 5000 characters, and add images, audio, and video.
Be selective with your social media presence
You don't need to be everywhere all at once (Buffer's barely active on Facebook). So regardless of the size of the social media site, consider whether your brand’s target audience is active on those platforms. It’s better to pick two to three sites and do them well rather than create so-so content for five or more different platforms.
P.S. Buffer lets you schedule social media posts to several top social media sites. If you want to manage more than one social media account across multiple platforms, try Buffer (totally free) to experience what it can do for your business.
Credit: This list pulls from –