More than half of the world’s population are social media users. Out of 7.7 billion people in the world, 4.33 billion have a social media account. A social media agency Hong Kong defines social media as a computer-based platform that allows sharing of ideas, information, and thoughts with people all over the world.
Social media began way back in 1844 when the first electronic message was sent by Samuel Morse from Baltimore to Washington D.C. As The Washington Post said: “Before Twitter & Facebook, there was the Morse Code…” In 1996, the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET) laid down the roots of digital communications.
The first social media platform was launched in 1997. Andrew Weinreich created SixDegrees.com under the “six degrees of separation theory.” The theory claims that everyone in the world is connected to everyone else by more than six degrees of separation. In 2010, there were around 970 million social media users. By 2020, the total number surpassed the 3 billion mark. With continuous growth, let’s see how big social media has evolved today.
Launched in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook now has 2.8 billion monthly active users (MAUs). A digital marketing speaker Hong Kong notes that it is still the king of social media marketing with ad revenue of $27.2 billion in 2020. The countries with the most Facebook users are India (320 million), the United States (190 million), and Indonesia (140 million). The Asia Pacific region is home to the largest Facebook users share with 43%.
Kevin Systrom founded Instagram together with Mike Krieger in 2010. This photo-sharing platform was later acquired by Facebook in 2021. Instagram boasts of 1.2 billion MAUs being one of the most-used social media platforms today. In 2010, Instagram Stories was launched to compete with Snapchat’s Snaps. Today, Instagram Stories are now reaching 500 million people daily with Snapchat’s Snaps having 150 million people a day. The countries with the most Instagram users are the United States (140 million), India (140 million), and Brazil (99 million).
LinkedIn is the world’s largest online professional network. It was founded by Reid Hoffman in 2002 and officially launched in 2003. It has always been looked up as a platform for building out jobs. At the same time, it is a successful B2B marketing platform and has skyrocketed the launch of events and industry news. Today, LinkedIn has 740 million MAUs. The countries with the most LinkedIn users are the United States (178 million), India (76 million), and Mainland China (53 million). The Asia Pacific region is home to the largest LinkedIn users with 206 million.
Launched in 2010 by Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp, and Paul Sciarra, Pinterest is a visual discovery engine that turned into a powerful social media platform. The app balances competition between businesses as it continues to provide inspire pinners. Around 95% of top searches on the platform are unbranded. Pinterest has around 459 million MAUs today. The countries with the most Pinterest users are the United States (100 million), Germany (17 million), and France (12 million).
A popular messaging app, Snapchat was founded by Evan Spiegel, Reggie Brown, and Bobby Murphy in 2011. This social media platform lets users exchange snaps (pictures and videos) that disappear after they are viewed. As it loses its cool to the younger generations because of TikTok, B2B marketers are now flocking on the platform growing its MAU by 18% in 2020. Today, Snapchat has 500 million MAUs. The countries with the most Snapchat users are the United States (108 million), India (74.3 million), and France (24.5 million). The North and Central American region is home to the largest Snapchat users with 90 million.
Make your day with TikTok clips! Zhang Yiming founded the app originally as Douyin in 2016. Featuring short music clips, this social media app now has 1.1 billion MAUs. It has become the no. 1 non-gaming iOS app in the United States. It became the most popular network among American teens. In the US alone, the app has 130 million active users today. Recently, TikTok launched a marketplace where brands can partner with creators whose audience fits their target persona.
Honestly, Twitter is the most profitable platform today. It has reached a 1.04 billion revenue in the first quarter of 2021. With the new paid subscription service it has launched, such revenue is set to grow more than 28% year over year. Jack Dorsey founded Twitter in 2016 as a microblogging website. Today, people go to the platform to keep themselves updated with the latest news and trends. Today, Twitter has 340 million MAUs. The countries with the most Twitter users are the United States (69.3 million), Japan (50.93 million), and India (17.5 million). The American s have the largest percentage of Twitter’s user base.
China’s super app, WeChat is also called the Chinese app for everything. WeChat is called the super app because it allows users to perform a variety of functions. Through WeChat, users can book a taxi, catch up with friends, get map directions, order food, and pay online. Tencent started working on a mobile messaging app in October 2010. Around 3 months after, the company launched “Weixin,” which eventually became WeChat as an English name. From text messaging to sending photos, and then, voice clips, this social media platform has grown a lot. Today WeChat has 1.24 billion MAUs. More than 1 billion WeChat users are based in China and 2.4 million are from the US.
WhatsApp is a multi-messaging platform founded by John Koum and Brian Acton in 2009. Facebook purchased the app with a whopping $16 billion in 2014. With 2 billion MAUs, it is the most popular messaging app among 180 countries. The countries with the most WhatsApp users are India (390 million), Brazil (108 million), and the United States (75 million).
A video marketing agency Hong Kong sees YouTube as the number 1 platform for video marketing. Three former PayPal employees founded this video-sharing app in 2005. They are Chad Hurley, Jawed Kareem, and Steve Chen. After its initial launch, YouTube attracted 30,000 visitors daily. It was serving more than 2 million video views 8 months after its launch. After a year, Google acquired YouTube making the app a part of its search engine. Today YouTube has 2.3 billion MAU.