Special Report

This Is the Biggest Social Media Platform: Ranking the World's Largest Networking Sites

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Social media has exploded into a global phenomenon over the last 15 or 20 years. Once mostly a way for schoolmates and co-workers to interact – Mark Zuckerberg famously launched what he originally called “TheFacebook” in 2004 as a way for his fellow students at Harvard University to connect – social platforms now permeate all aspects of society. (The subject is also a major focus of a popular dystopian anthology series broadcast here on Netflix. Here are all 27 episodes of “Black Mirror” ranked from worst to best.)

Grandparents are joining Facebook, teens are glued to TikTok, and Instagram influencers fill our feeds. While concerns over privacy, misinformation, and addiction swirl, one thing’s for certain: Social media is here to stay. (It’s not all teens on TikTok, of course. These are the 35 professions dominating TikTok.)

To compile a list of the biggest social media platforms in the world right now, as of 2022, 24/7 Tempo reviewed a report by consumer data site Statista, which in turn drew on a study conducted by DataReportal.

According to DataReportal, user numbers for Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, WeChat, TikTok, Telegram, Kuaishou, Sina Weibo, GQ, and Pinterest are self-reported. Those for YouTube, Facebook Messenger, SnapChat, and X (Twitter) come from the platforms’ self-service advertising resources. The number of Douyin users is from the Chinese data site Analysys.cn. (TikTok and Douyin were both launched by the Chinese internet technology company ByteDance, but operate independently.) WhatsApp had not yet verified its 2022 users at the time of the DataReportal report, so that number is from 2021.

Click here for a ranking of the biggest social media platforms in the world

Facebook was the first social network to hit 1 billion users and now has nearly 3 billion monthly active users. Its parent company, Meta, owns four of the biggest platforms on the list – Facebook itself, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

An estimated 4 billion people around the world now use social media to connect across borders and demographics. Love it or hate it, social media has woven itself into the fabric of daily life.

15. Pinterest
> Active users per month: 445 million
> Description: Visual discovery and bookmarking app
> Launched: 2010

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14. X (formerly Twitter)
> Active users per month: 556 million
> Description: Microblogging and social networking platform
> Launched: 2006

13. QQ
> Active users per month: 574 million
> Description: Instant messaging and social platform
> Launched: 1999

12. Sina Weibo
> Active users per month: 584 million
> Description: Microblogging and social platform
> Launched: 2009

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11. Kuaishou
> Active users per month: 626 million
> Description: Short video sharing and live-streaming platform
> Launched: 2012

10. Snapchat
> Active users per month: 635 million
> Description: Photo and video messaging app
> Launched: 2011

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9. Telegram
> Active users per month: 700 million
> Description: Instant messaging and communication app
> Launched: 2013

8. Douyin
> Active users per month: 715 million
> Description: TikTok in its home market China
> Launched: 2016

7. Facebook Messenger
> Active users per month: 931 million
> Description: Facebook’s instant messaging platform
> Launched: 2008

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6. TikTok
> Active users per month: 1.1 billion
> Description: Short-form video sharing platform
> Launched: 2016

5. WeChat
> Active users per month: 1.3 billion
> Description: Multipurpose messaging and social app
> Launched: 2011

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4. Instagram
> Active users per month: 2.0 billion
> Description: Photo and video sharing app
> Launched: 2010

3. WhatsApp
> Active users per month: 2.0 billion
> Description: Instant messaging application for smartphones
> Launched: 2009

2. YouTube
> Active users per month: 2.5 billion
> Description: Video sharing and streaming platform
> Launched: 2005

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1. Facebook
> Active users per month: 3.0 billion
> Description: Social media and networking site
> Launched: 2004, open to the public in 2006

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