Sure, there’s Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram – but are there other social media sites worth using to grow your business?
In short: yes.
And there’s plenty of them.
You’ve probably never even heard of some of the social media sites on this list – even though they have hundreds of millions of users.
That’s a lot of potential customers.
From foreign giants to the next big thing, this list of the top social media sites will open your eyes to a whole new online world you can use to promote your business.
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The 23 Top Social Media Sites in the World
Before we dive into the fun stuff, here’s a list of the top 23 social media sites in 2021 and ranked by the number of monthly active users:
- Facebook – 2.32 Billion
- YouTube – 1.9 Billion
- Whatsapp – 1.6 Billion
- Messenger – 1.3 Billion
- WeChat – 1.01 Billion
- Instagram – 1 Billion
- QQ – 807 Million
- Qzone – 532 Million
- TikTok – 500 Million
- Sina Weibo – 462 Million
- Tumblr – 437 Million
- Reddit – 430 Million
- Twitter – 330 Million
- LinkedIn – 303 Million
- Douban – 300 Million
- Baidu Tieba – 300 Million
- Snapchat – 287 Million
- Viber – 260 Million
- Pinterest – 250 Million
- Discord – 250 Million
- Telegram – 200 Million
- Line – 165 Million
- Medium – 60 Million
For the most part, the top social media sites in the world belong to one of two groups: East and West.
So for the purposes of this article, we’ll look at the Western social media sites first before turning our attention to the rapidly expanding Eastern social media sites.
The Top 15 Western Social Media Sites to Consider for Your Business
In 2021, there are countless social media sites available in the West. But which ones have the most users and which are best suited to your social media marketing needs?
Here are the top 15 Western social media sites in 2021 to consider for your business.
1. Facebook – 2.60 Billion Monthly Active Users
Facebook is the largest social media site in the world with more than two billion people regularly using the platform.
To put that into perspective, that’s a third of the world’s entire population.
As the top social media site in the world, Facebook is a safe bet for any business looking to boost sales with marketing for ecommerce.
Whether you sell men’s clothing or scuba diving equipment, you’re sure to find your target audience on this social media platform.
2. YouTube – 2 Billion Monthly Active Users
Thankfully, that’s not one billion hours of cat videos.
Today, YouTube is overflowing with quality content from independent creators and brands who use the platform to deepen customer relationships.
As a result, this social media platform is a must for any business interested in harnessing the power of video marketing.
But that’s not all.
It’s also worth noting that YouTube is often thought of as the second largest search engine after its parent company Google.
For this reason, you should optimize your YouTube videos and channel to grow your organic views.
Finally, you can also grow your business with YouTube advertising.
3. WhatsApp – 1.6 Billion Monthly Active Users
WhatsApp is a messaging application owned by Facebook with more than 1.6 billion users in over 180 countries around the world.
Like most top social media sites, WhatsApp originally just allowed users to communicate with their family and friends. However, today this social media platform also provides business opportunities.
In fact, it even has its own dedicated WhatsApp business app.
This app allows small businesses to set up a business profile on the platform that can then be used to provide customer support, communicate with customers, and even send customers updates about their purchases.
As you grow your business, you can upgrade to WhatsApp’s Business API to access more tools and features.
4. Messenger – 1.3 Billion Monthly Active Users
Facebook-owned Messenger is a lot like WhatsApp.
The key difference between the two social media platforms is that WhatsApp is a standalone platform, whereas Messenger is fully integrated into Facebook’s main service.
Now that messaging apps have overtaken traditional social media platforms, Messenger is worth considering for your business.
Plus, it’s not just access to Messenger’s 1.3 billion active users that make it an appealing opportunity for businesses.
Messenger has far more features than WhatsApp.
This top social media site provides a number of powerful business tools, such as Messenger ads and chatbots.
These make Messenger ideal for capturing and nurturing new leads.
5. Instagram – 1 Billion Monthly Active Users
Instagram is a multimedia social media site also owned by Facebook. This social media platform first exploded onto the market thanks to its stunning photo filters.
These days, it also plays host to Instagram Stories, Instagram Live, and IGTV – a new feature for long-form video content seemingly designed to take on YouTube.
With more than one billion users, Instagram provides an incredible opportunity for businesses. If you’re thinking about trying influencer marketing, Instagram has proven to be the most effective platform.
Brands can get started by setting up and optimizing an Instagram business profile. This will provide access to tons of dedicated business features, including Instagram Insights and Instagram Shopping.
There’s also a way to schedule Instagram posts to help you increase productivity.
6. Tumblr – 437 Million Monthly Active Users
Tumblr is another popular microblogging social media site with more than 437 million users.
The social media platform allows you to share text, photos, videos, GIFs, audio clips, links, and more.
And like all of the top social media sites mentioned on this list so far, Tumblr contains 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.
7. Reddit – 430 Million Monthly Active Users
Reddit dubs itself “The Front Page of the Internet” and is a little different to most top social media sites. This social media platform combines social news, web content, a forum, and a social networking hub.
Reddit consists of “subreddits,” which are like dedicated forums about a particular topic. Users can submit questions or content to each subreddit to be voted up or down by other users.
This social media site can be tricky for businesses.
Reddit users prioritize community and contribution over individuality and self-promotion. As a result, it’s best to learn the ropes before you use Reddit to promote your business.
The simplest way to start using Reddit for business is to use Reddit advertising.
8. Twitter – 330 Million Monthly Active Users
Twitter is a popular microblogging social media platform in the West.
One of Twitter’s key differentiators is its focus on real-time information and entertainment. As a result, it’s a great place for users to interact and stay updated with news, entertainment, sports, politics, and more.
There are countless ways to use Twitter for business.
The social media site is a great place to grow an online following. You can also use the social media site for customer relations, advertising, and more. Plus, Twitter’s advanced search is great for market research.
There are also dedicated business tools like Twitter analytics.
9. LinkedIn – 303 Million Monthly Active Users
LinkedIn is the best social media site for business-to-business marketing.
Just think of it like Facebook for your career.
LinkedIn profiles are similar to résumés and instead of sharing personal updates, professionals share content relevant to their industry or career.
For this reason, it’s a great place to discover people to collaborate with or employ. Plus, you can use LinkedIn advertising to reach your target audience.
This social media site is a great place to network and develop your personal brand.
10. Snapchat – 287 Million Monthly Active Users
Snapchat is a multimedia messaging social media site.
The premise is simple: Instead of sending text messages, users communicate via video snippets. Snapchat also provides tons of tools to customize your video messages, such as emojis, stickers, filters, and the draw tool.
There are also plenty of ways to use Snapchat for business.
Many great brands on Snapchat have used the social media site to grow their following and increase sales.
11. Viber – 260 Million Monthly Active Users
With more than one billion unique users worldwide, Viber is another messaging social media site similar to WhatsApp and Messenger.
It allows users to interact via messages, multimedia, calls, and more.
Although it has fewer users than WhatsApp and Messenger, you may want to consider Viber because it provides an extensive range of tools to grow your business.
These include Viber ads, in-app ecommerce, promoted stickers, coupon codes and more.
12. Pinterest – 250 Million Monthly Active Users
Pinterest is a social media site that acts as a digital pinboard.
You can use these virtual pinboards to curate content in many different formats, such as images, links, GIFs, and videos. You can also create your own pins to share.
As a result, Pinterest is where people go to discover new things and be inspired.
Like the other social media sites on this list, there are plenty of ways that you can use Pinterest for business – and not just Pinterest ads.
13. Discord – 250 Million Monthly Active Users
Discord is a social media site designed for video gaming communities.
It allows gamers to form communities and interact with each other while playing online video games.
Although Discord isn’t a great marketing channel, many businesses use the social media platform to communicate over made-for-business communication channels such as Slack.
14. Telegram – 200 Million Monthly Active Users
Telegram launched in 2013 and is one of the largest messaging social media sites in the world.
Its key differentiator is privacy.
This social media platform encrypts all messages, chats, groups, calls, and media. This means that if any communication is intercepted, it will need to be deciphered before it can be understood.
Governments aren’t very happy about this.
The service has been banned in Russia for refusing to release users’ information, and reportedly the U.S. government tried to bribe Telegram founders for access to the service.
Regardless, the service has more than 200 million users, and so businesses might want to consider using the platform to create chatbots, provide customer support, and broadcast messages to subscribers.
15. Medium – 60 Million Monthly Active Users
Medium may only have 60 million monthly active users, but it’s different to every other social media site on this list.
This social media platform is all about blogging.
And not multimedia blogging, but old-school blogs made of words – like this one you’re reading!
Essentially it’s a publishing platform and a social network mashed together. Most articles on Medium are free to read, however, some content is kept behind a paywall.
Writers and publishers can choose to lock their posts behind the paywall and get paid when users read and engage with their posts. One user received just 1,000 views on a post and was paid $139.73.
In other words, Medium can be a great hobby that makes money.
However, most businesses make their articles freely available on Medium in order to increase exposure and drive traffic to their websites.
The Top 8 Eastern Social Media Sites to Consider for Your Business
You might not have heard of these top social media sites, but they’re titans in their home countries. Plus, some of these social media sites are quickly gaining traction in Western countries.
Here are the top eight Eastern social media sites to consider for your business.
1. WeChat – 1.01 Billion Monthly Active Users
WeChat began as a simple messaging application that has since grown into a fully-fledged social media site.
This Chinese social media platform is most popular in its homeland and other parts of Asia. So if you’re planning to expand your business internationally, you might want to consider marketing on WeChat.
Especially as many top social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube aren’t available within China.
WeChat has tons of useful features too.
Other than messaging and calling, WeChat users can also use the social media site to shop online, transfer money, and make reservations.
WeChat also has a powerful advertising solution similar to Facebook advertising.
2. QQ – 807 Million Monthly Active Users
QQ is probably the largest social media site that you’ve never heard of.
Based in China, this messaging platform is used in more than 80 countries around the world and has over 807 million users – that’s more than double the number Twitter has.
It’s particularly popular with young people in China. So if you’re looking to market to Generation Z in China, you should definitely consider using QQ.
This social media platform is owned by Tencent, which also owns WeChat.
3. Qzone – 532 Million Monthly Active Users
Qzone is another popular social media site – again based in China, again owned by Tencent.
Think of it like this: Just like Facebook has Messenger, Qzone has QQ.
It’s interesting to note that QQ has almost 300 million more users than Qzone. Which makes this social media site a perfect example of how messaging social media sites are overtaking traditional social media platforms.
Qzone is the main social media platform connected to QQ, and boasts a range of features, including online shopping, gaming, movies, and more.
Users can upload images, videos, blog posts, and customize their own virtual portal.
One user on Quora explains that WeChat is favored by Chinese millennials whereas Generation Z typically prefer Qzone.
4. TikTok – 500 Million Monthly Active Users
TikTok is a social media site that lets users create short videos, often with catchy songs in the background.
And although it’s still most popular in China and other countries in Asia, it seems set to continue growing in the West.
This social media platform is extremely popular among teenagers and was actually the most downloaded app in America in September 2018, beating Facebook, Instagram, and more.
Especially as TikTok acquired it’s main competitor Musical.ly and integrated it into the social media platform.
This might be a good social media site to become established on now – before cracks the TikTok growth code.
5. Sina Weibo – 462 Million Monthly Active Users
Sina Weibo is often thought of as “China’s Twitter” and shares many of Twitter’s key features. (Twitter itself is actually banned in China.)
For example, it limits posts to 140 characters (Twitter’s original limit), notable accounts can get verified, and users can upload photos and videos.
However, Sina Weibo has 132 million more users than Twitter!
Again, if you’re looking to expand your business into China, this social media site is certainly worth considering.
6. Douban – 300 Million Monthly Active Users
Douban is the main review-based social media platform in China.
As Ah Bei, the founder of Douban, said, “Douban users are in higher education, and some are doing higher training courses, and they are more educated than the average Chinese reader. Our focus is books, movies and music, and we are a lot more culture orientated.”
This social media site is built on people creating fan pages, groups, and review content that sparks debate and discussion.
So if you’re aiming to target highly-educated and cultured people in China, Douban is the way to go.
7. Baidu Tieba – 300 Million Monthly Active Users
Baidu Tieba is a Chinese online forum from the makers of Baidu, which is the third largest search engine in the world.
Unsurprisingly, this social media site is heavily integrated with its parent search engine.
The social media platform is similar to Reddit. Users can create forum threads on any topic, share content in those forums, and interact with each other.
Again, if you’re looking to expand your reach into China’s huge market, Baidu Tieba might be worth considering.
8. Line – 165 Million Monthly Active Users
Line is Japan’s most popular messaging app.
This multi-purpose social media site and messaging app allows users to communicate via messages, stickers, videos, and more.
Users of the social media platform can also play games, order taxis, and shop online.
Businesses can create branded accounts to engage users, share news, and promote offers and discounts.
Summary: The 23 Top Social Media Platforms in the World
So there you have it, the 23 top social media sites in the world to consider using for your business.
While some of these sites are familiar, others are titans in the East but relatively unknown in the West. However, as the internet continues to open up global communication, many of these top social media sites are rapidly expanding internationally.
Which social media sites are you currently using to promote your business? Let us know in the comments below!