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The Most Popular Social Media Platforms in 2023

Social media is more ingrained in our lives than ever before. In 2023, approximately 4.7 billion people around the world are active social media users. That‘s over 60% of the global population!

So which social platforms are leading the pack this year when it comes to popularity and user engagement? As an experienced tech professional, I‘ll walk you through the latest eye-opening stats and trends on today‘s social media landscape. Let‘s dive in!

Global Social Media Usage Overview

The numbers showing the massive worldwide scale of social media are staggering:

  • There are 4.7 billion social media users globally as of January 2023 according to DataReportal. This represents over 60% of the total world population of 7.8 billion.
  • We‘re expected to cross 5 billion global users by early 2025 based on projections from Statista.
  • Average daily time spent on social is 2 hours and 27 minutes per the recent 2022 Global Digital Report by DataReportal and We Are Social.
  • Which generations spend the most time on social media daily? Gen Z (ages 18-24) and Millennials (25-34) lead the pack at over 2.5 hours per day.

So social media has a truly global reach, with usage still trending upward rapidly especially among younger audiences. Next let‘s look at the most widely used platforms worldwide…

Most Popular Social Media Platforms Globally By Monthly Active Users

PlatformMonthly Active Users
1. Facebook2.958 billion
2. YouTube2.562 billion
3. WhatsApp2 billion
4. Instagram2 billion
5. WeChat1.313 billion
6. TikTok1.051 billion

[Sources: Statista, Business Insider

The platforms with the most monthly active users globally are long-standing networks like Facebook and YouTube with over 2 billion each. But relatively newer apps like TikTok and Instagram are growing incredibly fast, both now crossing 2 billion monthly users as well.

Messaging apps like WhatsApp and WeChat also have gained massive user bases, frequently used for both messaging and accessing content/services. This just shows how diverse the global social media landscape has become.

Next let‘s zero in on social media usage specifically in the United States.

Social Media Use in the United States

  • There are over 246 million social media users in the U.S. as of 2022 according to Statista, equal to around 72% of the total population.
  • The top 5 platforms in the U.S. by monthly active users according to Statista are:

    1. Facebook – 221.7 million
    2. Instagram – 180.8 million
    3. TikTok – 140.4 million
    4. Twitter – 126.4 million
    5. Pinterest – 110.6 million
  • Gen Z (82%) and Millennials (84%) have the highest social media usage rates among all U.S. adults as per Pew Research.
  • Americans spend an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes on social platforms per day according to 2022 data from eMarketer. Gen Z spends the most at over 3.5 hours daily.

Now let‘s profile the top 3 social media platforms in more detail.

Profiles of the Top 3 Social Platforms in U.S.

Facebook

With 221 million monthly active users, Facebook remains the dominant social media site in America.

History and Overview

  • Founded in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and college classmates as a social network for college students
  • Pioneered the modern social networking concept with the News Feed and Wall updates
  • Has evolved into a sprawling platform including Groups, Events, Gaming, Facebook Dating, Facebook Livestreaming, and more
  • Added acquisitions like Instagram and WhatsApp under the Facebook company umbrella

Usage Statistics

  • 79% of adult Facebook users in the U.S. check the platform daily according to Pew Research
  • Average user spends 39 minutes on Facebook per day as of Q4 2021 according to Statista
  • Most popular with women aged 25-34, but over 50% of U.S. senior citizens use Facebook too

Revenue and Business

  • Generated $32.9 billion in ad revenue in 2021, 98% of total company revenue according to financial filings
  • Over 200 million businesses globally use Facebook Business tools as of 2022

YouTube

With an impressive 214 million U.S. users, YouTube is second only to Facebook in popularity.

History and Overview

  • Founded in 2005 by former PayPal employees as a video sharing site
  • Allows users to watch, upload, and share video content on any topic imaginable
  • Includes user channels, video recommendations, commenting, and more

Usage Statistics

  • Reaches over 80% of U.S. internet users according to Pew Research
  • Users watch over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos per day as of May 2019
  • Most popular with Millennial and Gen Z users who spend 60-70+ minutes on YouTube daily

Revenue and Business

  • Generated $29.4 billion in total ad revenue in 2021 for Google‘s parent Alphabet
  • Provides revenue streams for millions of creators through ads, subscriptions, tips, and more

Instagram

With over 180 million U.S. users, Instagram continues its meteoric rise.

History and Overview

  • Founded in 2010 by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger as a mobile photo sharing app
  • Added key features like Instagram Stories in 2016 and IGTV long-form video in 2018
  • Expanded into shopping, messaging, Reels short video, and much more
  • Acquired by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion

Usage Statistics

  • Over 60% of users check Instagram daily spending 28 minutes per day on average (Source)
  • Most popular with Gen Z (75% usage rate) and Millennials, but growing fast among older users too

Revenue and Business

  • Generated $47.2 billion in ad revenue in 2021 according to digital marketing agency Wallaroo Media
  • 90%+ of Instagram users follow at least one brand and 60%+ have made a purchase based on Instagram content

Emerging Social Media Apps to Watch

Beyond today‘s leading platforms, new emerging social apps have the potential to join their ranks. Here are three rising newcomers to keep an eye on:

  • BeReal – A photo sharing app growing in Gen Z appeal that prompts users daily to take a quick unedited photo in 2 minutes
  • Clubhouse – A unique voice-based platform focused on live group conversations and discussions in "rooms"
  • Discord – A popular community-based platform for instant text, voice and video communication originally for gamers

While their long-term staying power remains unknown, these fresh takes on social could become the next big thing.

The Takeaway

It‘s clear that social media has woven itself into the daily lives of billions and become a primary way we communicate, get entertained, express ourselves, and more.

As we move through 2023 and beyond, social media engagement across existing leading platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok will continue to grow. But the social media landscape 5 or 10 years from now may look quite different with new emerging apps rising to prominence.

No matter what changes come, social media will keep playing a central role in how we interact with friends, family, brands, creators, and the world at large. Staying knowledgeable on the latest social media trends and statistics is key for understanding this massively influential communication and technology sphere.

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Michael

Michael Reddy is a tech enthusiast, entertainment buff, and avid traveler who loves exploring Linux and sharing unique insights with readers.