There are probably hundreds if not thousands of social media platforms, some are niche, and some are even private. If you only count those with millions of followers, you’ll probably end up with just a few.

The platforms are easy to use and some of them even have paid advertising options for businesses that want to reach new audiences. However, just because your business needs to be on these platforms doesn’t mean that it has to be on every other social media site. To properly utilize the power of social media you need to know the most popular social media sites and identify the ones that work best for your business to avoid spreading yourself too thin.

There are numerous social media platforms available today, some available globally and some have a more localized coverage. Some of them are concentrated on users and some are concentrated on businesses. Generally, these social media platforms are focused on motivating users to create & share content.

Social media sites have also grown in numbers by leaps and bounds. There are now more than 3.8 billion social media users around the world, representing 49 percent of the world’s total population.

Most social platforms don’t permit use by younger people though, so if we only consider people over the age of 13, the latest data reveal that 63 percent of ‘eligible’ audiences are already using social media.

Now, let’s get back to the numbers. It is impossible to find an exact number of social media platforms online, but their number is surely more than 200. Some which don’t get much popularity but still exist, and some that are huge in particular countries – like China, or Russia, or Malaysia – but don’t feature much in the USA, Canada, Australia, UK and New Zealand

The ‘Big 6’ are:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram (owned by Facebook)
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube

Significant in certain places / groups:

  • SnapChat
  • TikTok (formerly Musical.ly)
  • WeChat
  • Tumblr
  • Twitch

Big players that are sometimes forgotten as being ‘social media’:

  • Reddit
  • Quora
  • FourSquare
  • Medium

And then we can consider WhatsApp and Messenger (both also owned by Facebook) and Telegram and Viber – although they are predominantly messaging apps, they are also used by many people in ways that can categorize them as separate social platforms.

In addition to the social media sites suggested, here are some others to take into consideration:

  • minds .com – a place where you can speak your mind, meet the more liberal type of people who have alternative views.
  • com – Similar to twitter, with less political chit-chat than Twitter.
  • Vimeo and btchute – other sites similar to YouTube.
  • Pandora – a music service that allowed profiles.