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Top 15 Social media apps and sites

Navigating the top social media apps and sites: Which is right for you?
Last Updated on September 2, 2023
Top 15 Social media apps and sites
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In today’s digital age, social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, allowing us to stay connected, share our thoughts, and even find entertainment at our fingertips. But with an ever-growing list of platforms, how do you know which ones are worth your time? Look no further; we’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the top social media apps and sites based on key metrics like monthly active users, engagement rates, growth trends, and their overall influence in the digital space.

Whether you’re looking to network professionally, stay in touch with friends and family, or explore new interests, our guide to the top 15 social media apps and sites has something for everyone. So let’s dive in and find the perfect platform for you.

Facebook: The Pioneer of social networking sites

As the pioneer among social networking sites, Facebook has evolved from a college networking platform to the most popular social media platform in the world. With a staggering 2.9 billion monthly active users, it’s a behemoth in the realm of social media sites.

Connecting with friends and family

Facebook allows users to create profiles complete with photos, interests, and other personal information. It’s a hub for connecting with friends and family, whether they’re down the street or across the globe. The platform enables users to send messages via Facebook Messenger, making it easy to keep in touch in real-time.

Joining Groups and following topics

One of the unique features of Facebook is the ability to join groups that align with your interests. Whether you’re into cooking, sports, or politics, there’s likely a group for you. These groups often become communities where people share resources, advice, and friendship. Following topics and pages allows you to customize your news feed with content that matters to you.

Business and advertising opportunities

Facebook isn’t just for personal connections; it’s a powerful tool for businesses as well. Advertisers find immense value in the platform’s extensive reach and detailed user data. Companies can create pages to market their products and services, and they can also run targeted ad campaigns to reach potential customers effectively.

Evolution to Meta

In a significant rebranding move, Facebook changed its company name to Meta in 2021. While the social media platform itself remains called Facebook, the shift to Meta indicates the company’s broader focus on building a comprehensive metaverse.

By offering a range of features from personal profiles to business advertising, Facebook continues to dominate the landscape of social media sites in terms of both popularity and versatility. Whether you’re looking to reconnect with old friends, find a community of like-minded individuals, or grow your business, Facebook offers something for everyone.

YouTube: The Premier video-sharing platform

Owned by Google, YouTube reigns supreme as the leading video-sharing platform, boasting an impressive user base of over 2 billion monthly logged-in users. It’s not just a site for entertainment; it’s a multifaceted social platform that caters to various needs, from education and news to social media marketing and live-streaming.

A hub for diverse content

YouTube is the ultimate destination for a wide array of video content. Whether you’re looking for music videos, news clips, or educational tutorials, the platform has it all. YouTubers, as the content creators are known, upload a staggering 500 hours of footage every minute, ensuring that the platform’s target audience always has something new to watch.

Live-streaming and real-time interaction

One of the features that set YouTube apart from other social networking platforms is its live-streaming capability. This feature allows creators to engage with their audience in real-time, making it a powerful tool for social media marketing. Live Q&A sessions, product launches, and even concerts are regularly hosted on YouTube, offering a more interactive experience.

Monetization and marketing opportunities

YouTube isn’t just for watching videos; it’s a viable platform for making money and promoting businesses. Through ad revenue, sponsorships, and merchandise shelf features, creators have multiple avenues for income. Companies also leverage YouTube’s extensive reach and user data to run targeted ad campaigns, making it one of the most effective social media marketing platforms.

Entertainment meets information

While entertainment is a significant aspect of YouTube, the platform also serves as an informational resource. From DIY projects and cooking tutorials to news and documentaries, YouTube offers content that is both entertaining and educational, meeting the diverse needs of its user base.

By offering a range of features from video sharing to live-streaming and monetization, YouTube continues to be a dominant force in the landscape of social networking platforms. Whether you’re a casual viewer, a content creator, or a marketer, YouTube has something to offer for everyone.

Instagram: The Visual-centric social networking app

With a user base of over 2.3 billion, Instagram has carved out a unique space in the world of social media. Known for its photo and video sharing capabilities, the platform is particularly popular among millennials and young adults. But it’s not just a playground for the younger generation; professionals and businesses are also leveraging Instagram’s features for marketing and brand building.

A haven for visual storytelling

Instagram excels in offering a platform for visual storytelling. Users can share photos and short videos, enhanced by the app’s wide range of filters and editing tools. Whether it’s a picturesque sunset or a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life, Instagram provides the tools needed to make every post a masterpiece.

Instant messaging and video calls

Beyond its photo-sharing capabilities, Instagram also functions as an instant messaging app. Users can send direct messages, create group chats, and even make video calls. This feature makes it a versatile social networking app that goes beyond just sharing pictures and videos.

The allure for millennials

Instagram holds a special appeal for millennials, who are drawn to its user-friendly interface and visual-centric approach. The platform is easily accessible on mobile devices, making it convenient for users who are always on the go. From checking out the latest fashion trends to keeping up with friends, Instagram serves as a one-stop-shop for the millennial lifestyle.

Marketing opportunities for professionals

It’s not just individuals who are making the most of Instagram; professionals and businesses are also getting in on the action. With features like sponsored posts and Instagram Stories, the platform offers a variety of ways to reach a targeted audience. Companies can showcase their products, share customer testimonials, and even conduct live Q&A sessions, making Instagram a powerful tool for brand building.

By offering a blend of visual storytelling, instant messaging, and marketing capabilities, Instagram has established itself as a multifaceted social networking app that caters to a diverse audience. Whether you’re a casual user, a millennial, or a business professional, Instagram offers features that enrich your social media experience.

WhatsApp: The Global messaging platform

Boasting nearly 2 billion monthly users, WhatsApp has become a household name in the realm of messaging platforms. Owned by Facebook, this app is particularly popular on an international scale, offering a range of features from encrypted text messages to voice and video calls. Whether you’re running a business or keeping in touch with family and friends, WhatsApp has something for everyone.

Secure and encrypted communication

One of the standout features of WhatsApp is its end-to-end encryption, ensuring that your chats remain private. Whether you’re sending text messages, photos, or videos, you can rest assured that only you and the recipient can read or view them.

Voice and video calls

Beyond text messaging, WhatsApp also offers voice and video calls, making it a versatile platform for all your communication needs. The call quality is generally excellent, and the best part? It’s free, as long as you have an internet connection.

Group messaging and collaboration

WhatsApp isn’t just for one-on-one conversations; it’s also great for group messaging. Whether it’s a family group to plan a holiday gathering or a work group to collaborate on a project, the app offers a seamless experience for multiple users to communicate and share files.

WhatsApp Business: A tool for entrepreneurs

For business owners and entrepreneurs, WhatsApp Business is a game-changer. This separate but related app allows companies to interact with customers easily. Features like automated messages, catalog sharing, and quick replies make it an invaluable tool for customer service and marketing.

WhatsApp’s diverse range of features makes it a go-to messaging platform for personal and business use alike. With its focus on security, ease of use, and versatility, it’s no wonder the app enjoys such immense popularity worldwide.

TikTok: A phenomenon among social media platforms

TikTok has taken the world by storm, boasting over 1.6 billion monthly active users. Known for its addictive short-form videos, the platform has become one of the most popular social media sites today. Its unique algorithmic “For You” feed keeps users engaged by surfacing trending content and creators. Particularly among Gen Z, TikTok is more than just an app; it’s a cultural phenomenon.

TikTok’s “For You” feed is a game-changer in the realm of social media algorithms. It curates a personalized stream of trending content and creators, making it one of the best social media platforms for discovering new and exciting material. Whether you’re into comedy, cooking, or social media challenges like the “social media chroming challenge TikTok,” there’s something for everyone.

Gen Z’s digital playground

TikTok has a special place in the hearts of Gen Z users. The platform allows them to express themselves, engage with like-minded individuals, and even mobilize for social causes. It’s not just an app; it’s a community where young people can feel seen and heard.

Beyond videos: In-app purchases

TikTok isn’t just about watching and creating videos. The platform also offers in-app purchases, allowing users to buy virtual gifts for their favorite creators or even shop for products featured in videos. This feature adds another layer of engagement and offers creators a way to monetize their content.

Why TikTok stands out

TikTok’s unique blend of short-form content, a powerful algorithm, and a young, engaged user base make it a force to be reckoned with in the social media landscape. Whether you’re a creator, a casual scroller, or a business, TikTok offers something for everyone, solidifying its status as one of the best social media platforms today.

WeChat: The Swiss army knife of Chinese social media

WeChat is more than just a messaging app; it’s a complete social media ecosystem. With over 1.2 billion monthly users, this Chinese app has become indispensable for digital life in China. It offers a wide range of services, from messaging and social media to payments and even games.

The multifaceted WeChat social media ecosystem

WeChat is a one-stop-shop for almost all your digital needs. It’s not just a messaging app like WhatsApp; it’s a full-fledged social media platform, a payment gateway, and even an advertising platform. This makes WeChat unique in the Chinese social media landscape, where it competes with platforms like Douyin (the Chinese version of TikTok).

How to advertise on WeChat: A primer

For businesses looking to tap into the Chinese market, WeChat offers a robust advertising platform. You can run targeted ads based on user behavior, location, and other demographics. Understanding how to advertise on WeChat can give your business a significant edge in one of the world’s most lucrative markets.

WeChat advertising: What you need to know

WeChat advertising isn’t just for big corporations. Even small businesses can get in on the action. The platform offers various ad formats, including Moments Ads, which appear in the user’s social feed, and Account Ads, which are displayed in the chat interface. With the right strategy, WeChat advertising can offer a high return on investment.

Beyond China: WeChat’s global reach

While WeChat is a must-have for digital life in China, its influence is growing globally. The app is available in multiple languages and offers services tailored to international users. So whether you’re in China or anywhere else in the world, WeChat aims to be your go-to app for a wide range of digital services.

In summary, WeChat is not just another app; it’s a comprehensive digital platform that has ingrained itself into the daily lives of billions. From social interactions to business advertising, WeChat is a powerhouse in the Chinese social media WeChat landscape.

Telegram: The epitome of secure and feature-rich messaging

Telegram is not just another messaging app; it’s a secure and versatile communication platform. With over 1 billion active users, Telegram has carved out a niche for itself, especially among those who prioritize privacy and security.

Available on multiple platforms including iOS, Android, desktop, and web, Telegram offers a plethora of features like sharing videos, photos, and even large files up to 2GB.

How secure is Telegram: A deep dive

One of the most frequently asked questions in search engines about Telegram is its level of security. Telegram uses end-to-end encryption for its messages, ensuring that your conversations are secure from prying eyes. This makes it a popular choice for users who are concerned about privacy, setting it apart from many other messaging apps.

Telegram vs. Discord vs. Slack: A comparative analysis

When it comes to choosing a messaging app, people often compare Telegram with other popular platforms like Discord and Slack. While Discord is geared more towards gamers and Slack is favored for workplace communication, Telegram offers a balanced mix of features suitable for both casual and professional use. Its encrypted messaging and versatile channels make it a strong contender against its rivals.

Telegram X vs. Telegram: What’s the difference?

You might have come across blog posts discussing Telegram X alongside Telegram. Telegram X was an alternative Telegram client that promised more speed and new features. However, it’s worth noting that Telegram X has been discontinued, and its best features have been integrated into the main Telegram app.

Expanding beyond messaging: Telegram’s channels and groups

Telegram goes beyond simple messaging with its channels and groups feature. Channels are a way to broadcast messages to an unlimited audience, while groups can accommodate up to 200,000 members for more interactive discussions. These features make Telegram not just a messaging app but a robust platform for community building and information sharing.

In summary, Telegram offers a unique blend of speed, security, and versatility, making it one of the top choices in the crowded messaging app market. Whether you’re interested in secure one-on-one messaging or looking to engage with larger communities, Telegram has something for everyone.

LinkedIn: The Hub for professionals

LinkedIn stands as the world’s largest professional network, boasting over 930 million members. Unlike other social media sites, LinkedIn focuses on career development, professional connections, and thought leadership. It’s an indispensable tool for networking and B2B marketing.

How LinkedIn differentiates itself

LinkedIn is not just another social media platform; it’s a career-oriented network that helps professionals connect and grow in their respective fields. Whether you’re a jobseeker, a recruiter, or someone looking to build their professional network, LinkedIn has features tailored for you.

Snapchat: The playful social experience

Snapchat, with its 700 million users, is a hit among teens and young adults. Known for its playful filters and ephemeral messaging, Snapchat offers a unique, lively social experience.

Snapchat vs. Instagram: A youthful rivalry

While Instagram has a broader user base and more features, Snapchat holds its own with unique filters and a focus on more personal, momentary interactions.

The platform’s “Stories” feature has been so influential that even Instagram adopted it, but Snapchat remains the go-to for real-time, fun interactions.

X, the artist formerly known as Twitter

X, which was formerly known as Twitter, remains the go-to platform for real-time news and social commentary. With 450 million monthly active users, it’s a hub for thought leaders, celebrities, politicians, and journalists.

The Evolution from Twitter to X

The rebranding to X signifies a shift in focus but retains the platform’s core features like Tweets, Fleets, and Spaces, making it a versatile platform for real-time information and discussions.

Pinterest: Your virtual vision board

Pinterest, with its 400 million monthly active users, is the go-to platform for lifestyle inspiration, allowing users to pin and share ideas ranging from fashion to recipes.

How Pinterest stands out

Unlike other social media platforms that focus on real-time sharing, Pinterest is about planning for the future. Whether it’s a dream wedding or a home renovation, Pinterest helps you visualize it.

Discord: The Gamer’s paradise

Discord is a platform that sees over 150 million monthly active users, primarily from the gaming community. It offers text, voice, and video chats on persistent servers and channels.

Slack vs. Discord for community

While Slack is often used for workplace communication, Discord offers a more relaxed environment with features tailored for community interaction, making it popular among gamers and other interest groups.

Tumblr: The Home of fandoms

Tumblr may be past its peak, but it still commands a respectable 135 million monthly active users. It’s a microblogging platform that focuses on community and creativity.

How Tumblr is different from other social media

Tumblr offers a more niche community experience, with a focus on art, fandoms, and subcultures that might not get as much attention on broader platforms.

Reddit: The Front page of the internet

Reddit is a platform that boasts over 55 million daily active users. It’s a place where people can share, comment, and engage with a variety of content through specialized subreddit communities.

Nextdoor: Connect with your community

Nextdoor brings local communities together, boasting over 27 million users. It’s a platform for neighbors to share recommendations, events, and alerts.

WhatsApp vs. Snapchat vs. Nextdoor

While WhatsApp and Snapchat focus on personal and social interactions, Nextdoor aims to build a sense of community among neighbors, making it unique in the social media landscape.

By understanding the unique features and audiences of these top 15 social media apps and sites, you can choose the right platforms to achieve your personal or business goals.


The social media landscape continues evolving at a rapid pace. But these 15 platforms undeniably lead the pack heading into 2023 based on scale, demographics, and impact on culture and communication worldwide.

Even though some of these social media platforms have paid features, you can still use them for free. All you just need to do is sign up for a user account on any of the platforms and start enjoying the entertaining world of social media.

Maria is a contributer to PC Guide, highly-interested in productivity and AI tools, and ensuring the inclusion of detailed product info and coverage across versus pieces.