Which social media platforms are worth bothering with and which don’t count? These are difficult questions and the answers change as platforms rise and fall. But right now, there are 7 platforms that you might consider for your next social media experiment or marketing campaign.
These are the dominant social media hubs in terms of monthly visitor stats. You will generally find them as the featured platforms in courses that teach social media marketing. They are also among the most downloaded apps in the world.
Facebook is easily the biggest social media site, with close to a billion monthly visitors. This is a big number, especially considering that many users check Facebook at least once a day. Facebook has become increasingly commercial in recent years. For the marketing of a business and its products, you often don’t reach many of your followers unless you pay to boost your posts. Even among your personal circles, don’t expect all your posts to reach the timelines of friends and family.
Whatsapp seems to be winning the instant messaging battle over its main competitor, Messenger, and has more than 1.5 billion active users at last count. But both platforms are owned by Facebook (along with Instagram), making the battle far less intense than you might imagine. The app is ideal for quick messages between groups of people.
Instagram is another social media site with just over 100 million visitors each month. Instagram allows users to take pictures and videos, and share them on other social networking platforms.
Twitter is around a third of the size of Facebook, with more than 326 million monthly site visitors. Twitter has impressive reach statistics. Twitter has carved a niche for providing instantaneous news and opinions.
LinkIn is not far behind Twitter in terms of monthly visitors, with more than a quarter of a billion. We think the site still has a way to go to become mainstream for professional profiles, apart from niche industries such as online marketing. Many people seem to have a LinkIn account that is static and not viewed often.
Pinterest is the second biggest photo sharing site after Facebook. It has an estimated 250 million monthly visitors. Users upload and manage images—called pins—and other media content (such as videos and images) via collections known as pinboards.
Tumblr receives more than 100 million monthly visitors. It’s relatively niche, but big in among certain user groups (such as American teenagers). The blogging forum allows people to create their own micro-blog. Blogs and posts with provocative images tend to be the most popular.
And Social Media Platforms That Failed
Social media has an ever-changing landscape. Rises and falls can be dramatic and fast. Here are failed platforms which have fallen by the wayside.
Google+ seemed to have every opportunity because, as Google’s social media platform, it was viewed as important and worth joining. The service linked with other Google’s other offerings, such as Chrome and Gmail. But user engagement was always extremely low and, with privacy issues also emerging, the platform was terminated in 2019.