The popularity of social media platforms changes over the years. Yet, some remain on top. Facebook was born in 2004 and is still highly used. It has adapted to trends and changes on the web.1 On the other hand, platforms like Tumblr have dropped from the big leagues, landing in the “social media graveyard.” As of 2024, the top social media platforms are Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Reddit.

Key Takeaways

  • Social media platform popularity is constantly shifting, with some platforms maintaining their dominance while others fall out of favor.
  • Facebook, launched in 2004, remains one of the most popular social networks globally, with 3.1 billion users as of 2024.1
  • YouTube follows closely behind Facebook with 2.5 billion active users.1
  • Meta (formerly Facebook) owns four of the top 10 most popular social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger.1
  • TikTok has emerged as a rising star with 1.58 billion active users, particularly among younger demographics.1


In today’s world, social media is key in our lives. There are2 4.8 billion users globally, making up 59.9% of the world. These platforms are where we find info, keep up with friends, and run businesses.2 For both people and companies, understanding social media’s importance is vital.

The Importance of Social Media in Modern Life

Social media changes how we talk, share media, and see the world. About2 94.6% of internet users use messaging apps. And2 46% get news from social media, showing how it spreads information.2 Young people use social media for news more than anyone else.

Understanding the Social Media Landscape

Social media is always changing as new sites appear and people’s tastes shift. In 2022, about 55% of ad money went to social media and search ads. That’s a lot of influence for businesses.2 Facebook helps over 200 million small businesses, and2 nearly all marketers use it to promote. Staying in touch with social media trends and knowing what users like is important for success.

The leading social media platforms in early 2023 were:2 Facebook with 2.96 billion users, YouTube at 2.51 billion, and WhatsApp at 2 billion. Also, Instagram reached 2 billion users, alongside WeChat with 1.31 billion users, and TikTok with 1.05 billion. Others included Facebook Messenger with 931 million users, Douyin with 715 million, Telegram with 700 million, and Snapchat with 635 million.2 Platform X and Pinterest followed with 556 million and 445 million users, respectively.”


Facebook leads the way as the top social network globally. It boasts 2.11 billion active users each month as of December 2023. With a market cap surpassing $1.19 trillion by mid-February 2024, Facebook shows its unmatched impact online.

User Demographics

Their user base is broad, but it’s the 25-44 age group that’s largest, making up 49% of users. Top countries for Facebook users are India, Brazil, the US, and Indonesia.3

Facebook’s Evolution and Dominance

Since 2004, Facebook has changed to meet people’s needs. In the last quarter of 2023, its parent company, Meta, made over $39 billion in ad revenue. Facebook had 2.11 billion people using it every day in that period, showing its strong influence.

Leveraging Facebook for Business

Businesses can use Facebook’s powerful tools to connect with their audience. It uses data analytics to target ads precisely. In 2023, Facebook earned $131 billion from ads with 8 million companies using its service. To improve data safety, Facebook now has clearer data use policies and settings.


YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine. It’s now a major social networking platform too. It has 2.7 billion global users and 239 million from the U.S. each month.4 This video-sharing site began in 2005. It showcases various content like YouTube Shorts and tutorials. These focus on high-quality video and are optimized for searching and engaging with viewers.4

The 25-34 age group is YouTube’s biggest audience. It’s a hit with older users too, reaching over 50% of those over 36. In the U.S., about 81% of adults use YouTube; that’s more than those who use Facebook.56

YouTube offers businesses a chance to promote through ads or their own videos. Surprisingly, only 9% of small businesses market on YouTube. Yet, it often proves more successful than TV or Facebook, say many marketers.5

Companies aiming to do well on YouTube should work on top-notch, engaging content and keep up a regular posting schedule. This helps retain subscribers and show expertise in their industry. They should also interact with viewers in the comments. This builds trust and makes their brand more relatable.6

Thanks to its broad reach and user-focused features, YouTube is a key place for businesses to grow through video marketing. The platform’s growth and changes over the years highlight its value for marketing plans today.4


Popularity and Global Reach

WhatsApp is a favorite app for messaging around the world. It has over 2.7 billion users globally. In the U.S., there are 98 million users. It’s really popular with people aged 25 to 34, who are the biggest group using WhatsApp.7

Using WhatsApp for Business Communication

WhatsApp isn’t just for chatting. Businesses use it to talk to customers and fans. It’s like having a business page on Facebook. You can make a business profile and send messages directly to people. This way, you’re more likely to get responses since 98% of text messages are opened. Compared to emails, which are opened only 21% of the time, WhatsApp is a great way to reach people.7

The app also has special tools for businesses. You can set up a unique business profile, use labels to organize contacts, and even show a catalog of your products. You can send automated messages and quickly reply to customers too.8

For bigger businesses, there’s the WhatsApp Business Platform. It offers even more features like letting multiple agents handle conversations and letting businesses verify their profiles. Plus, companies can make their messages stand out by using templates. The pricing is based on how much you talk, making it fair for everyone.8


Instagram is a top platform for showing products and services to a big audience. As of October 2023, it had 2 billion people using it every month9. This makes it great for Instagram marketing and influencer marketing.

Visual Storytelling and Influencer Marketing

It’s perfect for showing off visually interesting things. Brands use its special tools to tell stories that grab people’s attention.10There are 2.04 billion people visiting Instagram every month, perfect for sharing what you do.10 They also team up with popular content makers to show off their stuff to more people.

Shoppable Posts and E-Commerce Integration

Now, businesses can sell their products right on Instagram. Shoppable posts and Instagram Shops make shopping simple. Users can find and buy what they like from the app directly.9Instagram is part of Meta. It’s a favorite among Gen Z and millennials in 20249. So, if you want to reach people under 35, Instagram is a great place to be.

10While many young people use Instagram (73% of teens), its main users are from the 18-35 age group, making up 61.8%.10 This means using Instagram marketing and influencer marketing helps businesses link up with these key users.

Social Media Platforms

The popularity of social media platforms changes over time. Some, like Facebook, have stayed on top since 2004. It has adapted to many changes online. Yet, platforms such as Tumblr have become less popular, moving to the “social media graveyard”.2

By 2024, the top social media platforms are Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, and others. Facebook has nearly 3 billion users, making it the most used platform. Businesses and marketers love it too, with over 200 million businesses and 90% of marketers using it for ads.2

In 2022, social media and search ads made up over half of all ad spending. By late 2022, people spent over 2 hours daily on social media. Almost everyone age 16 to 64 visited a social site in the last month.2

The top social media platforms keep their lead, but new trends and players are always appearing. It’s essential for businesses and people to keep up with the latest in social media. This way, they can make the most of these communication and marketing tools.


TikTok, the short-form video content platform, is a major hit. It started in 2016 by the Chinese company ByteDance11. Since then, it has grown to nearly 1.7 billion users globally12. Around 38.5% of its users are teenagers and young adults, aged 18 to 2411.

The Rise of Short-Form Video Content

Short-form video content is becoming really popular. 40% of Generation Z users prefer TikTok for search over Google12. It’s known for fun videos, like those tagged with #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt, which got over 15 billion views in four months12.

Reaching Gen Z and Younger Audiences

TikTok does well with Gen Z and younger crowds. A big group, representing a quarter of U.S. adults, get their news from TikTok12. It also sells Chinese items to the U.S. through the TikTok Shop Shopping Center12.

In Brazil and Indonesia, it’s into music streaming. This move makes TikTok a strong social media platform for various activities12.

TikTok is important for businesses now. They use it to connect with its TikTok, short-form video content, and reach Gen Z audiences. Knowing TikTok well helps companies make content that their audience loves.


Snapchat stands out in the world of social media, especially for the young. It focuses on content that disappears, which is great for youth who cherish privacy and spontaneity. This has made it very popular among the digital-savvy crowd.13

Ephemeral Content and User Privacy

What sets Snapchat apart is its temporary nature. While other sites hold onto posts forever, Snapchat’s photos and videos vanish in a flash. This feature is a hit with the young, who love sharing but hate leaving a permanent record.13

Engaging the Younger Generation

No one can deny Snapchat’s pull on the youth. It has over 414 million daily active users, mostly young people. It’s extremely popular among 13 to 24-year-olds and is the second-favorite app among teenagers, just after TikTok.13

If companies want to reach this group, Snapchat is a goldmine. They can make content that’s fun and temporary, using Snapchat Stories. This way, they can really connect with the youth.14

Platforms like Snapchat that suit young users’ needs will likely keep their strong position. Businesses who understand Snapchat’s appeal can connect with the youth better. They can stay ahead in the world of digital marketing.15

X (Formerly Twitter)

X, once called Twitter, has faced a drop in its global user count. Still, it’s a key way for quick conversations and sharing news. In the US, it has 50 million users. Most are between 18 to 34 years old. They are passionate about the platform16.

Real-Time Communication and News Sharing

X shines in quick chats and sharing the latest news. Many businesses like it for staying in touch with customers. It also helps them comment on important world news related to their work16.

Leveraging X for Brand Awareness

Though not as big as some social media sites, X is great for getting your brand known. You can do this by posting relevant stuff and talking to your followers. This helps make your brand’s message stronger and positions you as an expert16.


What are the most popular social media platforms in 2024?

In 2024, the top social media platforms are Facebook, YouTube, WhatsApp, Instagram, TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, Snapchat, Pinterest, and Reddit.

How many people use social media worldwide?

Globally, 4.8 billion people use social media. This is nearly 60% of the world’s population. Social media is key for info, staying connected, and business growth.

How popular is Facebook in 2024?

With 3.04 billion users, Facebook leads all social networks. In the U.S., it has 175 million users. Most users are between 25-44 years old. Facebook helps businesses market through groups and posts.

What are the key facts about YouTube?

YouTube has 2.7 billion users around the globe. In the U.S., there are 239 million monthly viewers. The biggest group is 25-34 years old.

It’s a good place for business ads or videos. You can even have popular videos mention your business.

How popular is WhatsApp, and how can it benefit businesses?

WhatsApp has 2.7 billion global users and 98 million in the U.S. Most users are 25-34 years old.

It’s useful for promoting business like on Facebook. You can send messages that are more likely to be read than emails.