Have you ever heard about Facebook? or Twitter? or Google+? or LinkedIn? Let’s be frank here – if your answer is “NO”, well… do you even live on this planet?
Let’s say it out loud – social networks are thriving nowadays. Each day dozens of thousands of new users open their accounts on more than a hundred social networks all over the web (Wikipedia). Every day millions of people spend billions of minutes, browsing their favorite social networking websites. In short, today social networks are huge and they really play a role in our everyday lives.
However, how many users does every social network have? It is not a secret that Facebook, for example, has an enormous fan base – literally, more than a billion people use Facebook every single day. Other well-known giants like WhatsApp, Google+, LinkedIn, and Instagram also have millions of active users, but how many? Let’s just talk numbers and look at some analytical data as of March, 2015.
Facebook is by far the largest and most popular social network in the world. Mark Zuckerberg’s social networking website is estimated to have about 1,415 millions active accounts all over the globe. Also, Facebook is the only social network that has surpassed 1-billion-users threshold.
The second giant social network – QQ – isn’t that well known the U.S. and Europe, and it is no wonder why as its country of origin is China. QQ is the most popular Chinese social network and, by sheer size of China’s population, easily becomes the second most popular social networking platform in the world with its 829 million active accounts.
WhatsApp is the most popular cross-platform mobile messaging app in the world. It has more than 700 million active users. Due to fast growth of mobile, WhatsApp’s free messaging was an immediate success.
The next largest social networking platform – Qzone – comes from China, too. Having more than 629 million active accounts, Qzone allows its users to write blogs and diaries, share photos, watch videos, and listen to music. The great thing about Qzone is that it allows every user to customize the account to his or her personal taste.
With over 500 million users, Facebook Messenger lands on the fifth spot of our list of giant social networking platforms. The audience of Facebook Messenger is definitely huge, however it should be noted that its use is obligatory now, and if you want to chat with your friends on Facebook, you must use the Messenger. So, it’s a bit of a ‘cheat’ case.
WeChat, a standalone messaging app popular in China, has over 468 million active users. WeChat allows its users to communicate via text messages and voice calls. As with QQ and Qzone, WeChat grows fast mainly thanks to its popularity in China.
Being the largest social network for business professionals (about 350 million active users), LinkedIn is popular not only in the U.S., Europe, and Japan but all over the globe. The platform is rigorously used by businesses to grow awareness and loyalty. Also, LinkedIn is a convenient means of communication between professionals.
Once, Skype has changed the world and revolutionized communication forever, so it is no wonder that this free-chat-and-voice-calls app has over 300 million users worldwide. Needless to say, Skype’s user base continues to grow despite facing aggressive competition from other telecommunication apps.
When you are the most-used search engine in the world, it is quite easy to make dozens of millions of people use your own social network. This is the case of Google+ with over 300 million users. Hint: If you want your website to have a better SERP. Register on Google+!
Do you like sharing nice photos and videos on the Web? About 300 million people who use Instagram daily do. Taking advantage of people’s lust to share and intake information visually, Instagram has quickly become one of the most successful social networking platforms.
If you travel to China, you should learn one word – Baidu. Forget about Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Being the largest search engine in China, Baidu plays Google’s card and provides Chinese users with a social networking platform called Baidu Tieba. As of March 2015, it has about 300 million users. Given to China’ huge population, it is, by no means, a platform to overlook.
“Laconic” is a word to describe our next giant – Twitter. With 288 million active accounts, it is the largest microblogging platform in the world. Twitter is well-known all over the globe and is rightly seen as one of the leaders of social networking industry.
As billions of people use smartphones on a daily basis, it is no wonder that Instant messaging is hot. To become a success in this niche, any app should offer something huge. It seems that Viber manages to stand out of the crowd. Now, the app has over 236 million active users.
Any person who thinks that blogging is not an activity to spend time on will be amazed to know that Tumblr, one of the most successful blogging platforms on the Web, has over 230 million users. Tumblr’s microblogging and social networking capabilities are valued among bloggers around the world.
Snapchat is definitely worth mentioning on our list. The service attracts millions of users by offering unique features like sending photos and videos that the recipients can only watch for a limited amount of time. Snapchat is fun, so it is not a surprize that it has over 200 million users.
Let’s return to East Asia again. Another giant – LINE – originates not from China, but Japan. This communication app is similar in functionality to WeChat, Skype, and Viber: free messages, free voice calls, free video calls.
If you’ve ever dreamed about a hybrid of Facebook and Twitter, you should have born in China as a microblogging website Sina Weibo does the trick. The website has over 167 million active users.
Our last giant comes from Russia. VKontakte is the largest social networking platform in the area with over 100 million users. It features tons of free music, videos, and posts. It allows users upload whatever they want from music to documents, so it is no wonder that this social network does have issues with copyright law.
To sum it up
Social networks are big today, and it is hardly a surprize as people like to be connected to each other, share their thought and memories, watch videos and listen to music. Social networks continue to evolve and grow in popularity – from the U.S. to Africa, from Japan to Brazil. In the coming years, they will attract even greater audiences, add more features, improve their usability, and many more.
As of March, 2015, the ranking of social networking platform, ranked by number of active users (in millions), is the following:
1. Facebook (1,415)
2. QQ (829)
3. WhatsApp (700)
4. QZone (629)
5. Facebook Messenger (500)
6. WeChat (468)
7. LinkedIn (347)
8. Skype (300)
9. Google+ (300)
10. Instagram (300)
11. Baidu Tieba (300)
12. Twitter (288)
13. Viber (236)
14. Tumblr (230)
15. Snapchat (200)
16. LINE (181)
17. Sina Weibo (167)
18. VKontakte (100)
Facebook, We Are Social, WhatsApp, Twitter, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Google, Alexa