Social media is big business. Since the launch of the very first social media site, SixDegrees, back in 1997, the net has welcomed countless platforms, some of which have gone the distance and many more that have slipped into the digital abyss.
More than 25 years after SixDegrees made its big debut, there are several social media platforms that are among the nation’s favourites. We reveal the top five social media platforms right now and the numbers that have cemented their success.
With 2.9 billion monthly active users at last count, Facebook is still the king of social media by quite some way. While popularly used for personal reasons to connect with family, friends and acquaintances; create, post and share content; and keep up with the latest news, events and gossip; Facebook is also a huge hit with businesses.
Companies of all sizes and niches have a presence on Facebook to tap into its huge user base and showcase the products or services they sell.
Google has its fingers in many, many pies, with online video sharing platform, YouTube, just one of the companies it has acquired to date.
Now the second largest social media platform on the planet thanks to its 2.5 billion monthly active users, YouTube generates an eye-watering amount of ad revenue. This should come as no surprise considering some 500 hours of video are uploaded to the platform every single minute!
As the best way to share and find beautiful imagery and reels, Instagram was at the cutting edge of the social media sphere when it was released in 2010. After being acquired by Facebook just two years after its foundation, the site has gone from strength to strength. Instagram now has 1.47 billion monthly active users worldwide.
Chinese instant messaging, social media and mobile payment platform, WeChat, became the largest standalone app of its kind when it was launched in 2011. At last count, WeChat boasted 1.26 billion monthly active users.
The newest social media platform to enter the market is also the fastest growing. In fact, TikTok was the most downloaded app in the USA in 2018.
Known and loved for its short-form videos, TikTok has only become more popular. It now has 1 billion monthly active users, is available in over 200 countries and has been downloaded more than 2 billion times!