The social media landscape is ever-changing – did you know Myspace was the most popular social media site in 2006? In fact, apart from Facebook, which was still very new then, none of the social networks that make to our top 6 this year existed ten years ago.
Things change fast in the social media landscape, but one thing is set to remain the same – Facebook will always be the top dog of social networking, we don’t expect any social network to come anywhere close to challenging Facebook’s hegemony now, or in the foreseeable future. So the battle is on for the second spot.
Here are the most popular social networks in 2016…
As said earlier, no social network comes anywhere close to Facebook. Facebook receives an incredible 1.65 billion unique visitors each month, which is 23% of the world’s population!
It is one of the most powerful companies in the world with a market cap of $353 billion at the time of this writing. Facebook began as a social network for young adults, but it is today a social network for the whole family – everyone is on Facebook, your girlfriend as well as your grandmother.
Facebook connects people around the world and at every point of time you know what’s happening with your friends’ lives, because of Facebook. Whether they’ve found a new job, got married, or had a child, you will know instantly. Facebook is the global social network, there’s Facebook and then there’s everything else.
YouTube is more of a video sharing service than a social network, but it is very popular, and receives 1 billion unique visitors a month. There are billions of videos on YouTube. You can spend your lifetime watching YouTube videos back-to-back and you wouldn’t have gone through even 1% of them!
YouTube is also the world’s second most popular search engine after Google. You will find product reviews, “how to” instructional videos, promotional clips and everything you can think of on YouTube. You can share the videos, rate them or comment on them.
Instagram is owned by Facebook and had recently had its 500 millionth member, which is HUGE! Instagram began as a photo-sharing app, but soon developed into a full-fledged social network. It has grown by leaps and bounds since its acquisition by Facebook 4 years ago. Instagram offers a quick connection between the camera features on your smart phone to your social profile. You can select from a number of photo filters and invite friends to comment on your photos.
LinkedIn is the premier social network for professionals. It’s a great place for headhunters to look for talent, and for professionals to look for jobs. More than a social network, LinkedIn is taken seriously as a way to validate someone’s credentials from their “connections” on the site. It is also a great way to find business partners, vendors, clients, customers, look for potential investors, keep up with the latest news and trends in business, besides being a tool to recruit new employees. There are 450 million people who regularly tune in to LinkedIn every month, so as you may well imagine, it is a powerful force in the social media.
Twitter receives 310 million unique visitors a month and is still very popular, but it is no longer seen as a challenger to Facebook. The Twitter stock was hit by a series of poor financial results and the company now has a market cap of just $12.58 billion. Twitter remains a hotbed of political activity. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey has been heavily criticized for his attacks on freedom of speech, such as banning conservative journalist Milo Yiannopoulos from Twitter. But they are yet to find a profitable business model. Indeed, the company has never made a profit, ever.
Google+ was created by Google as a competitor to Facebook, but has never quite caught the fancy of the public. Officially, Google+ has 2.5 billion users, as anyone who has a Gmail account is considered to be a Google+ member as well, but in reality, it receives not more than 125 million active users a month. However, Google+ is considered to be a powerful social network for small businesses because of how well it is integrated with Google search.
So these are the most popular social media sites of 2016 based on the data that is available to us. We hope you enjoyed reading this.
Raghav Hegde, Bangalore
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