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Here Are the Most Popular Social Media Platforms in the World (And the Companies Behind Them)

Well over half of the global population, around 57% to be precise, uses some form of social media in order to make it so that they can connect with one another in some way, shape or form. Despite this massive number of users, and the fact that they are spread pretty much all around the world, the vast majority of social media is controlled by a handful of companies. For example, four out of the five most widely used social media platforms currently out there are owned by one company, Meta.

Meta, which was formerly called Facebook before it rebranded and Facebook became just one of its many subsidiaries, owns WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger as well. That gives it 2.9 billion users from Facebook, 2 billion from WhatsApp, and 1.3 billion apiece from Messenger and Instagram. That makes it one of the most powerful players in a thoroughly monopolized social media landscape, since at least a third of the world’s population has an account on one of Meta’s platforms.

Meta’s only major competitor was Alphabet, with YouTube being this company’s only social media centered player in this regard. With nearly 2.3 billion monthly active users, YouTube is the second biggest social media platform in the world apart from Facebook, and it might just be the only one that can give Facebook a run for its money. That’s something that can be seen in Facebook consistently trying to directly compete with YouTube through things like Facebook watch and IGTV, although these attempts have not garnered any major success as of yet.

The top five social media platforms in the world by monthly active user count are all owned by American companies, and four of them are owned by Meta specifically. However, once you move out of the top five, you would start to notice China’s relative success in this area. With over 1.2 billion users, WeChat is the 6th biggest social media platform in the world, with TikTok and a similar app named Kuaishou rounding off the social media platforms with over 1 billion monthly active users.

With all of that having been said and now out of the way, it is important to note that except for TikTok, no other Chinese social media platform has found any significant amount of success outside of China. Out of the four Chinese entries in the top ten list, only TikTok has managed to become relevant, although the fact that it has pretty much taken the world of social media by storm and changed it entirely is something that should be noted as an indicator that the dominance of American social media might be on the decline, especially when you consider the bad press that Meta has been receiving as of late.

There is one entry on the list that comes from neither China nor the US, but from the UAE. This is Telegram, a popular messaging platform that has managed to gain 600 million active monthly users so far, and has become a common alternative for people that want to use platforms other than the ones owned by Meta which often involves foregoing the use of WhatsApp as well.


H/T: VC.
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