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Ranked: The World's Most Popular Social Networks, and Who Owns Them

The World's Most Popular Social Networks, and Who Owns Them

Currently, there are over 4.5 billion people around the world who utilize any form of social media, which is around 57% of world's population.

Although the audience of social media is vast and diverse, only few companies control a majority of the world's most popular platform for sharing information. Meta the tech giant formerly known as Facebook, owns some of five widely used social media platforms.

This graphic shows the most important social networks in the world according to their monthly active users (MAUs).

Note: We'll use phrases like "social network" and "social platform" interchangeably to refer to various platforms for video, messaging and image-sharing platforms , which have social features built-in.

Top Social Platforms by Monthly Active Users

To gauge the number of MAUs on each platform We looked into a variety of sources that include the most up-to-date company SEC filings, and quarterly earnings statements.

The majority of Meta's user base comes from its most popular platform, Facebook. Facebook, the social media giant currently boasts more than 2.9 billion MAUs across the globe.

Where in the world is the majority of Facebook users where? The platform's biggest user base originates from India and has an audience of nearly 350 million. The second largest user base comes from that of the United States, with 193.9 million users, while Indonesia is third with 142.5 million.

However, Facebook isn't the only giant social network in Meta's wide range of platforms. WhatsApp boasts around 2 billion MAUs and is the second-largest Meta platform as well as the third-largest network of social networks overall.

As with Facebook the majority of WhatsApp users are in India and India has 390 million customers. Brazil has a large portion of WhatsApp users as well, with an audience size of more than 108 million.

The Billion Users Club

Meta currently dominates the social media landscape, boasting an overall total of 7.5 billion MAUs across 4 of their platforms. There are a few other companies have also crossed the billion MAU mark across all their platforms on the list.

After Meta, Tencent has the second most reach due to its three platforms--WeChat, Qzone as well as QQ. Three of them, WeChat is currently the most used. On basis, WeChat users transmit around 45 billion texts per day.

The third place of the top three is Alphabet thanks to its single platform, YouTube. In 2005, YouTube was established. streaming service currently has over 50 million content creators with an average of 500 hours of video content every minute.

Close behind Alphabet close behind is Bytedance and Bytedance, which have a total of 1.6 billion MAUs on Douyin as well as its global counterpart TikTok. Although both apps share many similarities, they operate as distinct entities with different policies for registration, content, and regulations.

Global Social Networks? Not Always

While social media networks tend to transcend national borders However, it's important to remember that the world of the Internet is not entirely free of the limitations and regulations of our physical world.

Since 2009, Facebook was banned by China for not complying with regulations on censorship. Facebook was also blocked in Iran and Syria at the same time, and has been blocked intermittently since.

In 2020 it was reported that the Trump administration tried to enact an identical ban against TikTok however, the plan was blocked by a federal judge and was later lifted by the Biden administration one year after.

Despite a myriad of roadblocks and bans in the past, social media platforms have sunk into the lives (and onto the screens) of people across the world. And as the global internet connection grows and expand, so will the number of social media users.

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