Guide to the Major Social Media Platforms

icons of social media applications

No one in this time and era is oblivious to social media platforms. Whether we use it or not, we all know about these platforms one way or the other. Social media or networking sites have been around for more than a decade now, and we have seen some drastic changes in their popularity and usage over time. While some of the social media sites have been replaced, others have maintained their place among the top social media platforms.

Orkut and Myspace are two of the social media sites that got replaced big time by Facebook. Also, since Snapchat came into action, most of the younger generation seems hooked on to the habit of posting and checking out stories – a feature that was also adopted by Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp afterwards.

A tug of war to get more active users also goes on constantly between the social media platforms. Facebook attempted to acquire Snapchat in 2013 but failed. It acquired WhatsApp instead in 2014 for a price of $16 billion and maintained its reputation of being one of the top social media platforms in the world.

Major Social Media Platforms

1. Facebook

Facebook is one of the most used social media platforms (in terms of monthly active users). According to recent statistics, Facebook has a staggering 2.45 billion active monthly users. It was the first-ever social media platform to cross the 1 billion mark of registered users’ accounts. Facebook has played a critical role in shaping how social networking currently turned out to be.

From picture sharing to user statuses and from active groups of thousands of people to online shops, Facebook is an ideal platform for the marketers. Facebook facilitates open communication between the users and the sellers. It is the perfect networking site to broaden any business’ reach and take it global. Facebook also offers ad campaigns. You can set your target audience and pay Facebook for running your advertisement.

This social media platform is also popular because users have tons of privacy features. You can set your News Feed preferences and only get updates about the things you want to know about. Facebook also offers Messenger, which stands as the second most popular social media applications, according to Statista. With its cool features and the ease of instant and free messaging, Facebook Messenger is a major social media app.

2. Twitter

Twitter recorded about 330 million monthly active users during the initial months of 2019. Very popular for its short messaging limit – up to 280 characters – Twitter is amongst the top sites where news from all over the world breaks first. The Tweets have become a popular place for everyone to express their views, including celebrities, stars, officials, politicians, etc. For its short messaging service, Twitter is known as one of the most influential microblogging systems.

Twitter is the social media platform used for numerous purposes, such as posting updates about policy, current situation, or academic and scientific breakthrough. You can include external links in your Tweets – which is an excellent way to promote your research, market your product, or increase your blog views.

3. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the ultimate social media networking site for professionals. It is the hub of professional connections seeking to advance their professional knowledge and experiences by job hunting, posting informational content, and promoting their resumes. On LinkedIn, users have to make detailed profile comprising of their educational, professional, and extracurricular details.

LinkedIn has about 610 million users and is available in 200 countries around the world. The focus of this social networking site is to build professional connections acting as a bridge between employers and professionals. LinkedIn is one of the top sites for online recruiting of staff in the US, as of 2018.

It allows posting job listings with detailed requirements and suggests the suitable candidate to the organizations on LinkedIn. It had been acquired by Microsoft in 2016, which was one of the most expensive acquisitions in the history of social media networking sites.

4. YouTube

YouTube is amongst the top social networking sites that have become synonymous to video content. It offers a large variety of options for the followers to form a community that enjoys similar video content and interests. One year after YouTube was launched, it was acquired by Google for $1.65 billion and now provides for almost 9.4 percent of Google’s total revenue. If people thought YouTube was just about users uploading their amateur videos, they could be way beyond wrong.

YouTube is one of the biggest video platforms in the world. It is used by individuals and businesses alike. It is the most efficient ways of reaching out to potential customers around the globe. Equipped with extremely convenient controls and options, YouTube has become the ultimate place for people to run their businesses with minimal marketing costs. YouTube has about 90 percent market reach – making it an enormous platform for networking and marketing.

5. Instagram

Sticking to photos and videos only, Instagram has become a popular social networking site for photo sharing. It adopted the idea of stories from Snapchat, and since then, it is Instagram stories everywhere. Instagram stories – like Snapchat – remain available for the followers for 24 hours only. Initially, Instagram was only limited to iOS platforms. However, since it expanded and became available for Android users, it has crossed all limits and became the main hub of Instagram influencers.

With the rise in Instagram users and celebrities using it to portray their personal lives, it has turned into a huge marketing avenue for brands. Now celebrity endorsement has a new name, and it is called Instagram influencers. Based upon the number of followers one has, marketers might pay you thousands of bucks for endorsing their products/services on your profile and urging your followers to buy the services/products.

A fan following on Instagram means having the opportunity of having to connect to 500 million daily active users. It is by far the top social media site – after Snapchat – to provide users with a peek at the lives of their stars or celebrities. It offers numerous photos and video filters as well.

6. Pinterest

Highlighting the importance of visual aspects of search and making them happen, Pinterest has become a hub of visual content on many topics. It uses the feature of boards and pinned pictures. Moreover, it lets the user search and view the pictures of their interest and preference according to the selected categories.

Even during its initial phase, when Pinterest only offered invitations to the users, it was able to reach 10 million monthly visitors and an unbelievable amount of user engagement. Pinterest is amongst the top social networking sites where users follow their favorite brands and companies. Most of the users of Pinterest are from the US.

7. Snapchat

Snapchat thrives on instant messaging, photos, and videos. It is regarded as the first social media platform that introduced the concept of destructing the snaps or pictures once after they have been viewed. For instance, if you take a snap and send it to a friend, it is discarded after your friend has viewed it.

Teenagers and young adults account as the most active users of Snapchat in the US. Snapchat is all about snaps; however, it has also gained popularity as the top video sharing social media platforms. It offers hundreds of cool filters for photos and videos.

Of the top reasons for using Snapchat is to be connected with friends and family. Moreover, this social media platform has quickly gained fame for entertainment and news. Similar to Instagram, Snapchat is also used by celebrities to give their followers a peek into their lives – which in turn has become an effective marketing tool for celebrity endorsement.

Final Words

With so many varieties and avenues, social media platforms have sabotaged the concept of faraway distances. The world has gathered into these platforms, and there is nothing that is out of reach. If you want ideas for home décor, Pinterest is there to help you. If you w0061nt to connect with your family, Facebook is there to connect you live to them. If you feel like you can have a strong influence with your video and photo content, Snapchat and Instagram are there for you. If you have the talent and guts to run your show or channel, head over to YouTube and make your dreams come alive.

All in all, social media platforms offer everything to you right from the convenience of your home.