As humans, we are naturally wired to be social animals instead of surviving in isolation. Some of us are more socially active than the rest of us, but we all need social interaction for sure.
That is why people have always been looking for opportunities to socialize with others. In today’s age, the way in which this socialization takes place has changed. We live in a digitally active era, which is why a majority of interaction with other humans takes place with the help of the internet.
So much so, that many human relationships begin with the help of the internet, and when it is time for such relationships to end, the internet is often the medium. Lots of relationships are initiated, continued and closed with very less human interaction face to face.
Human interactions take place with the help of the internet using websites or applications (apps) created specifically for social networking. As per a Global Digital Report, there were more than 4 billion internet users worldwide in 2018, of which 3.2 billion people used some or the other social media website or app. This represented a 13 per cent increase year on year, and it is also instructive to note that this same data three years back (at the end of 2015) showed there were 2 billion social networking users.
In this article, we have tried to compile an exhaustive list of the social media platforms that people are using in 2018. You would recognize many of them, but you can also use this list to find out popular social media apps which you haven’t used earlier as a visitor or for marketing your company.
1. Facebook : No surprises here that this stands right at the top of our list. This is by far the most popular social media platform today, and it was the first among all social media apps to get 1 billion users. Right now it has almost 1.6 billion users monthly. It was initially used by most people to get in touch with and stay connected with friends and family, but now they use it for getting recommendations for anything they are planning to buy. That’s why marketers and corporates use Facebook to push their products and services. This year Facebook did get some bad press after revelations that it had allowed third parties easy access to user data.
2. YouTube : This is the most popular video sharing social network in the world. It has users and viewers all over the world, and its immense popularity has encouraged several people to make videos of themselves and upload on YouTube to gain viewership and popularity. We see a number of people becoming YouTube celebrities today based on high number of likes, comments and shares on their videos. Although some users have been put off by the emergence of advertisements during the videos, but still the user base of YouTube continues to grow by the day.
3. LinkedIn : This networking platform sets itself differently from the other social networking sites. It is a platform for professional networking, and therefore enjoys its own niche among all the networking websites and apps. There are more than 100 million users of LinkedIn per month on an average, out of the 400 million users who have signed up. LinkedIn is now available in more than 20 major languages of the world. The good thing about LinkedIn is that it managed to grab a ‘serious’ niche among all the ‘fun’ and ‘entertaining’ social media platforms, yet has managed to be taken very seriously by users.
4. Skype : The unique benefit of this tool is the video calling feature between two users or even multiple users (in a conference call setup). This free video calling tool is being adopted by several individuals as well as corporates to replace voice calls over telephony. All the users need is to be connected to the internet, and have the Skype application installed on their laptops or mobile phones. There are more than 300 million average monthly users for Skype, and the numbers are continuously growing.
5. Pinterest : This social networking tool allows users to upload and share pictures with other users. This tool already has more than 100 million active users but there are such a huge variety of high quality pictures on all topics that many people use this as a reference site to collect images to be used in their projects.
6. Twitter : This is a social networking site which allows you to share your opinion with the world with the help of micro blogs of up to 280 characters. The 320 million monthly users were very happy when the character limit was increased from 140 to 280. Looking at the immense popularity of Twitter, many companies also use it for promotion of its products and services and also use it for customer relationship management by resolving queries and complaints. Among users too, Twitter has quickly emerged as the more useful place where they can lodge their complaints and hope for quick resolution.
7. Instagram : This is a visual app in the sense that it allows sharing of photos and videos with your followers. You can use the pictures and videos to tell your story, instead of typing it all out. You can make your pictures even more attractive and thought provoking by applying a variety of filters. Your Instagram content can easily be shared on other social networks like Facebook or Twitter. A majority of the 400 million monthly users are below the age of 25.
8. Flickr : This portal not only allows you to upload your pictures and share them with other users but you can also use this app to manage your collection of pictures. It is very popular among professional photographers who wish to display their high quality pictures to others. The photo management feature makes it different from other visual images based social networking platforms.
9. Google+ : This is a product from Alphabet, which is how Google has rechristened itself. It helps you to share various aspects of your life with your social network, including pictures, posts, videos, links etc. The Hangouts feature comes bundled with Google+, so you can use it for chatting with your contacts. As of now there are more than 300 million average monthly users.
10. Whatsapp : It is a much younger entrant than Facebook, and was also acquired by Facebook 4 years back. But it still exists as an independent entity with over a billion users every month. The ease of use and the instant responses are what make this such a popular app. The option of calling to hear someone’s voice or even see their face using the video call feature has really made Whatsapp a very popular app.We are also hearing about Whatsapp’s plans to come up with a payments solution which would allow users to make and receive payments using Whatsapp.
11. Telegram : This is another platform like Whatsapp, although it has just about 100 million users at present. It is available in several languages, and all the messages sent using Telegram are completely encrypted.
12. Reddit : The voting among users to determine the ranking of a particular content posted / shared on Reddit is its unique feature. Each topic has its own subreddit and users can look for posted content inside each subreddit and also vote for them. More than 100 million people use Reddit on a regular basis.
13. Quora : Among the hundreds of social networking apps, this one straddles the unique space where it acts as a repository of serious knowledge and also light entertainment. People can ask any question they need answers to, and can get fresh answers or even refer to earlier answers on the same question or topic.
14. Tumblr : You could call it a mix of Facebook and Twitter, since it allows users to network socially and also share micro blogs. It is an independent medium, and even multimedia files can be shared. This Yahoo! product was a late entrant in 2013, and today more than half a billion users use it every month on an average.
15. StumbleUpon : This is a social networking platform which looks for useful and relevant content and provides recommendations accordingly. The 25 million StumbleUpon users are using its recommendations to find out the most useful images and videos, and they can also look up relevant websites according to their tastes and preferences.
16. Snapchat : The interaction on this social networking platform is completely through the exchange of images. The pictures exchanged through Snapchat can allow a user to tell his own story or even the live stories that are immediately happening in other parts of the world. More than 200 million users are active on Snapchat every month on an average.
17. Viber : On the face of it, this social networking app is just like several others which allows users to transmit text, voice and videos to other users. But two features make it stand out. First, it can be used with more than 30 different languages, and second, it can also be used to call non – Viber users. That is why almost 250 million users have adapted to Vibe and use it on a regular basis.
18. WeChat : China showed the world that it can dictate terms on account of its sheer numbers, when it disallowed the use of Whatsapp. WeChat was the Chinese alternative to Whatsapp, and it enjoys close to a billion users monthly even though it is mostly used only in China. It is completely similar to Whatsapp, and because of the large population of China, it has got a huge number of monthly users.
19. Line : This is a social networking platform that helps you share different types of content and also make voice and video calls. The 215 million plus users share their pictures and videos using Line, and they also correspond with each other using messages using text or voice.
20. VKontakte : The 100 million users prefer to refer to this Russian social networking portal as VK. It has features that are quite similar to Facebook, but has still managed to get a loyal band of followers.
21. Badoo : This social networking app is specifically for finding partners for dating, and has more than 20 million active users every month in more than 200 countries. It provides recommendations of potential matches in the nearby areas.
22. Tagged : This popular social networking site is dedicated only to dating and friendships. The profiles you create and the pictures you upload form the basis of finding common interests and correct matches.
23. the-dots : This is an awesome networking application that helps to connect with people who have a creative bent of mind. This networking platform was started in the United Kingdom, and it helps creative people commercialize and monetize their creations. It has come a long way in making the creative sector more professional.
24. Snapfish : Avid photographers often run out of space on their devices or cameras, and they always have a recurring fear of their saved pictures getting lost due to a hard drive crash. Snapfish is an ideal social networking app for such people, since it allows unlimited storage space for pictures.
25. Flixter : This social networking app was designed and launched in the United States of America. It is specifically targeted at film enthusiasts. You can post as well as read movie reviews and recommendations here, and you can also find information about old and new movies.
26. CafeMom : Whether you are a mother already or about to become a mother, this is a great support community you can become part of. This social networking app can give you all kinds of information about pregnancy and motherhood. Additionally you can also get information about food, health and fashion.
27. Nextdoor : Back in the days, people used to walk up to the door of a neighbor who had just moved in, introduce themselves, and become friends. Now we have the Nextdoor app which is based in the US, and helps you get connected with people in your locality.
28. Vine : This too is a video sharing social networking media which has gained popularity. It belongs to the popular microblogging site Twitter, and it has a similar cap on the length of the videos uploaded. The videos that are shared on Vine can be at most 6 seconds long.
29. DeviantArt : This community is directed specifically at artists and creators. People can click photos of art they have created and share on this app, which is the largest community of this kind targeted at artists.
30. MeetMe : You might have used the earlier avatar of this social networking portal when it was referred to as myYearbook. It started off as a platform for young students to find out and meet each other. Even now it is most popular among the younger set.
31. Tout : The name for this social networking platform comes from the word tout which refers to the videos that are shared on this platform. These videos can be at most 15 seconds long and can be uploaded on this microblogging site along with the other posts.
32. Meetup : This social networking platform gives the opportunity of forming smaller groups of people with similar interests. These groups can later also meet face to face to take their association forward. This facility is available anywhere in the world, so it can be said to be a global platform with a local flavor.
33. Vero : Unlike most of the social networking portals on this list, Vero takes subscriptions from its users. That is why it is able to make its offering completely ad-free. Again, it also doesn’t collect any user data for this same reason, which makes it more attractive than Facebook and others in light of recent events.
34. Buzznet : This social networking portal allows you to upload your content based on the areas of interest. You can write blogs or journals, and you can also upload pictures and videos. You can easily synch your Facebook account with your profile on this portal.
35. Foursquare : This social networking portal is actually a geo-based search tool which can help you quickly get the best recommendations for places to eat at, get entertained or hang out. Because more and more of the 40 million users have begun using it for local searches, hence the social networking feature of this app has been moved out to a different app called Swarm.
36. Kiwibox : This is a community based social networking app similar to some others listed here, but it is limited only to New York City. You can use this site to show off your specific skills to other users. You also get to use the online fashion magazine published by Kiwibox.
37. Delicious : The unique proposition of this app is that it allows you to bookmark specific pages on the internet. You can not only see the useful bookmarks listed by other users, you can also see the keywords tagged with those bookmarks. This portal has been running successfully for the last five years.
38. ReverbNation : This is one of the most popular social networking sites related to music. It offers a great platform for musicians (both amateurs and professionals) to collaborate, look for work, highlight their own work and so much more. The great thing is that many industry partners also use this app to look for fresh talent.
39. Care2 : This is a common platform which brings together social activists from all over the world. Although the prime focus is on the environment and a healthy ecosystem, but it does have activists who are pushing other causes as well.
40. Ravelry : This is a social networking site with a very focused and niche area of interest. It is made for people who are involved in the use of spinning, weaving, knitting or crocheting. People who have skills in these areas can find partners and clients here, while people looking to buy or market can meet skilled practitioners here.
41. Wayn : Who doesn’t like to take a few days off and set off on unplanned travels? This social networking site is specifically targeted at people who like to travel. You can use it to get ideas for off-beat places to visit, or you can come back from a trip and share your experiences and advise as well.
42. Viadeo : This social networking site is based out of Europe, and is targeted specifically for business contacts. If you are looking to connect with business partners, clients, subject matter experts or other stakeholders who might be related to your business, then this is the best site for you to use.
43. Gaia : This social networking app is based on different forums. You can use the anime themes available on Gaia Online and get different avatars and create your own virtual world. This app also allows you to enjoy playing games.
44. MyHeritage : Whichever part of the world you are from, you will find this social networking platform easy to use, because it supports as many as 42 languages. It is primarily a forum which deals with each individual’s past and his heritage. You can use this app to create your own family tree, and also edit and manage your family’s history. Many users have successfully located their ancestors using this platform.
We hope that the above list would have covered almost every niche that you might be interested in, including friendships, business, career, films, music, heritage, lifestyle, food and so many more. Although this list does contain several me-too sounding platforms which seem to offer almost the same features as many others, but every platform has managed to offer something unique which has helped it to grow its user base.