The Top Social Networking Sites People Are Using

Are you using a dying social media network?

Editor's Note For Parents: Always educate yourself and children on the potential dangers of social media. Learn how to monitor your child's activities online (on smartphones, too!), block access to websites or disable a webcam if you are concerned about your child having access to these and other similar sites.

The world's most popular social networking sites certainly have changed over the years, and they'll undoubtedly continue to change as time moves forward. Old social networks will die, popular ones will stick around as they're forced to evolve, and brand new ones will appear (just watch out for fake news sites!)

We've moved on from the days of MySpace to a social media era now dominated by Facebook and all sorts of other social mobile apps. A lot of kids even admit to using Snapchat the most, suggesting that it could be the future of where social networking is headed.

So, what's everyone using right now? Have a look through the updated roundup of social networks below to see which ones are currently the trendiest. 


Female college student inviting friends to a party with a Facebook Event page on her laptop
Using a Facebook event to invite your friends to your dorm party is a free and easy way to stay organized.

Brendan O'Sullivan / Photolibrary / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Massive community.

  • Easy to find long-lost friends.

  • Integrated messenger.

  • Join interesting groups and pages.

What We Don't Like
  • Highly addictive.

  • Difficult to keep up with updates.

  • Complicated to adjust privacy settings.

Most of us already know that Facebook is the top social network on the web. It's a thriving beast of a social networking site on the web with about 2 billion monthly active users and more than one billion that log on daily (according to Facebook itself).

Statista shows that Facebook Messenger, with tons of cool features, is the second most popular messaging app behind WhatsApp. People use Facebook individually and by joining or setting up groups.

After failing to acquire Snapchat in 2013, Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014 so that it could be the one that was on top of instant messaging.


Twitter on a keyboard

Peter Dazeley / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Very large community.

  • Easy to use.

  • Get updates from major brands.

  • Integrates with third party services.

What We Don't Like
  • Can feel disorganized.

  • Not easy to find specific people.

  • Difficult to develop followers.

Twitter is known as the real-time, public microblogging network where news breaks first. Most users love it for its short message limit (now 280 characters) and unfiltered feed that showed them absolutely everything in the form of tweets.

Twitter has changed dramatically over the years, and today it's criticized a lot for going the way of looking and functioning almost exactly like Facebook. Besides Twitter Card integration, which now makes it easy to share all sorts of multimedia content in tweets, you can expect to see algorithmic timelines coming to Twitter as well.


LinkedIn App
Carl Court / Staff / Getty Images
What We Like
  • Easy to make new connections.

  • Simple to find people you know.

  • Well-organized website.

What We Don't Like
  • Too much information at times.

  • Frequent messages from marketers.

LinkedIn is a social network for professionals. Anyone who needs to make connections to advance their careers should be on LinkedIn. Profiles are designed to look sort of like extremely detailed resumes, with sections for work experience, education, volunteer work, certifications, awards and all sorts of other relevant work-related information. 

Users can promote themselves and their businesses by making connections with other professionals, interacting in group discussions, posting job ads, applying to jobs, publishing articles to LinkedIn pulse, and so much more. 


A woman uses her laptop to watch YouTube, but videos won't play.

Natdanai Pankong / EyeEm / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Many hours of entertainment.

  • Interact with communities of followers.

  • Active comment areas.

  • Find others with common interests.

What We Don't Like
  • Less personal than other social sites.

  • Overwhelming volume of information.

Where does everyone go to watch or share video content online? It's obviously YouTube. After Google, YouTube is the second largest search engine. Despite being owned by Google, YouTube can still be recognized as a separate social network all on its own as the premiere place online to go to watch videos on every topic under the sun and upload your own as well.

From music videos and movies, to personal vlogs and independent films, YouTube has it all. YouTube also launched a premium subscription option, called YouTube Red, which removes all advertisements from videos. It also now offers YouTubeTV, a separate live streaming subscription service.

If you have kids watching youtube videos, you should probably use parental controls.


A many viewing his Instagram collections on his iPhone.

PrasBoonwong / EyeEm / GettyImages

What We Like
  • More interesting than most social networks.

  • Useful filtering feature.

  • See into the lives of others.

What We Don't Like
  • Strictly enforces policies.

  • Ads can be a nuisance.

  • Many photos are overly edited.

Instagram has grown to be one of the most popular social networks for photo sharing that the mobile web has ever seen. It's the ultimate social network for sharing real-time photos and short videos while on the go.

Now it's even a leading advertising platform for brands as well as Instagram Influencers, who legitimately generate income through the network.

The app had initially been available for the iOS platform for quite some time as it grew in popularity but has since expanded to Android and Windows phones, along with the web. Instagram was bought for a hefty $1 billion by Facebook in 2012.


Pinterest on tablet in kitchen
Use Pinterest as your Online Recipe Box.

Jeffrey Coolidge / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Very entertaining to use.

  • Discover new ideas.

  • Loaded with inspiring messages.

  • Intuitive interface.

What We Don't Like
  • Loaded with affiliate posts.

  • Limited range of topics.

  • Can get cluttered.

Pinterest has become a major player both in social networking and in the search world, proving just how important visual content has become on the web. As the fastest standalone site ever to reach 10 million monthly unique visits, Pinterest's beautiful and intuitive pinboard-style platform is one of the most enticing and useful resources for collecting the best images that can be categorized into separate boards.

Pinterest is also growing to become a huge influencer in social shopping, now featuring "Buy" buttons right on pins of products sold by some retailers.


Hands holding a smartphone with the tumblr app open

kasinv / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Large variety of content.

  • Focused on writing and reading microblogs.

  • Easy to set up and customize.

  • Large user base.

What We Don't Like
  • Generates heated debates.

  • Loaded with misinformation.

Tumblr is an extremely popular social blogging platform that's heavily used by teens and young adults. Like Pinterest, it's best known for sharing visual content. Users can customize their blog theme, create blog posts in all sorts of different types of content formats, follow other users to see content in their dashboard feed and be followed back.

Reblogging and liking posts is a popular way to interact. If you post great content, you could end up with thousands of reblogs and likes depending on how far it gets pushed out into the Tumblr community.


Young man holds a smart device while using SnapChat app

S3studio / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Very easy to use.

  • Millions of users.

  • Editing and filtering features.

  • More personal and intimate than other platforms.

What We Don't Like
  • Small demographic of users.

  • Content disappears every day.

  • Lots of useless content.

  • Difficult to find people you know.

Snapchat is a social networking app that thrives on instant messaging and is totally mobile-based. It's one of the fastest-growing apps out there, building its popularity on the idea of self-destructing "snaps." You can send a photo or short video as a message (a snap) to a friend, which automatically disappears a few seconds after they've viewed it.

Kids love this app because it takes the pressure off of having to share something with everyone like they would on traditional social networks. Snapchat is easy to learn. Snapchat also has a feature called Stories, which allows users to share snaps publicly when they want. Facebook and Instagram have recently added Stories as well.


Woman looking at Reddit on laptop

Neustockimages / iStock

What We Like
  • Massive user base.

  • Wide range of perspectives.

  • Subreddits organize content well.

What We Don't Like
  • Occasional inappropriate content.

  • Confusing to find subreddits.

  • Unmoderated content.

Reddit has never really had the nicest design but don't let that fool you — it's a happening place on the web. It has a very strong and smart community of people who come together to talk about the topics they love while sharing links, photos, and videos relevant to the subreddit topic thread where they're participating.

Reddit AMAs are another cool feature, which allows users to ask questions to celebs and other public figures who agree to host one. Reddit works by displaying submitted links that get voted up or down by users. The ones that receive the most upvotes will get pushed to the first page of their subreddits.


Flickr webpage

yorkfoto / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Unlimited storage for premium accounts.

  • Very affordable.

  • Attract a large audience for your photography.

  • Active comment area for photos.

What We Don't Like
  • Website can be difficult to use.

  • Free accounts include ads.

  • Can't customize profile page.

Flickr is Yahoo's popular photo-sharing network, which existed long before other popular competing networks like Pinterest and Instagram entered the social photo-sharing game. It's still one of the best places to upload photos, create albums and show off your photography skills to your friends.

Yahoo has also worked hard at regularly updating its mobile apps with lots of great features and functions so that it's easy and enjoyable to use from a mobile device. Users can upload 1,000 GB worth of photos for free to Flickr and use the powerful app to organize and edit them however they like.

Swarm by Foursquare

An image of the Swarm app icon.

cnythz / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Very modern interface.

  • Creative approach to life logging.

  • Available for Android and iOS.

  • Useful map shows all check-in locations.

What We Don't Like
  • Difficult to manage settings.

  • Internet connection required.

Foursquare has broken up its location-based app into two parts. While its main Foursquare app is now meant to be used as a location discovery tool, its Swarm app is all about being social. You can use it to see where your friends are, let them know where you are by checking in, and chat or plan to meet up at a specific location sometime later.

Since launching Swarm, Foursquare has introduced some new features that turn interaction into games so that users have the opportunity to earn prizes. 


Smartphone with a variety of social media apps kik

Wachiwit / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Works on multiple platforms.

  • Millions of users.

  • Free to download and use.

What We Don't Like
  • Most users are young.

  • Uncensored community.

  • Can be dangerous for children.

Kik is a free instant messaging app that's very popular with teens and young adults. Users can chat with each other one-on-one or in groups by using Kik usernames (instead of phone numbers). In addition to text-based messages, users can also send photos, animated GIFs and videos to their friends. Although it's most useful for chatting with people you already know, Kik also gives users the opportunity to meet and chat with new people based on similar interests. Similar to Snapchat snapcodes, Kik users can easily scan other users' Kik codes to add them easily.

According to the FBI, this app, in particular, makes it extremely easy for people of all ages to contact one another; use extra caution with children and teens. Teach them the dangers of online child predators.


An image of the Periscope app on a smartphone.

Chris Jackson / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Integrates with Twitter.

  • Live interaction with viewers.

  • Large user base.

  • Easy and quick way to broadcast.

What We Don't Like
  • Can be difficult to learn.

  • Safety and privacy concerns.

  • Broadcasts require good internet connection.

Periscope is all about live web video broadcasting from your mobile device. It's a Twitter-owned app that's had its fair share of rivalry against another competing broadcasting app called Meerkat. Anyone who starts a new broadcast can send instant notifications to people so they can tune in to start interacting by leaving comments and hearts. Broadcasters have the option to allow replays for users who missed out, and they can also host private broadcasts for specific users. Anyone who just wants to watch something can open up the app and browse through all sorts of broadcasts that are currently being hosted live.


Blogging outdoors

lechatnoir / E+ / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Large visibility for your writing.

  • Potential payments for popular content.

  • Can draw in new fans to your work.

What We Don't Like
  • Payments are usually very low.

  • You give up all rights to your writing.

  • Limited reader analytics.

Medium is perhaps the best social network for readers and writers. It's sort of like a blogging platform similar to Tumblr but features a very minimal look to keep the emphasis on content that's shared there. Users can publish their own stories and format them just the way they want with photos, videos, and GIFs to support their storytelling. All content is driven by the community of users who recommend stories they like, which show up in the feeds of users who follow them. Users can also follow individual tags as a way to subscribe to content focused on topics of interest. 


Social Media Apps on Apple iPhone 6s Plus Screen

temizyurek / iStock / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Innovative community based on sound.

  • Dedicated mobile app for listeners.

  • Free to use.

  • High-quality player.

What We Don't Like
  • Free tier limits monthly podcasting hours.

  • Low popularity.

  • Financially unstable company.

SoundCloud is the world's most popular social network for sharing sounds. Most users share music they've made or podcasts they've recorded. In fact, if you're looking for a new free music app, SoundCloud should be one to try out. While you won't exactly get to listen to all the popular songs you hear on the radio or can listen to on Spotify, you'll get to discover lots of covers and remixes that are often better than their original versions. Even so, many well-known popular artists use the platform, so you can follow your favorites to listen to what they've decided to promote on SoundCloud. You can also discover what's trending, browse by genre, and create your own playlists with tracks that you love.


Hand holding phone tapping the tinder app


Wachiwit / Getty Images

What We Like
  • Very large dating pool.

  • Provides fun ways to interact with new people.

  • Swiping breaks the ice quickly.

What We Don't Like
  • Plenty of trolls and eccentrics.

  • Can make the dating process impersonal.

Tinder is a popular location-based dating app that matches you up with people in your area. Users can set up a brief profile that mainly highlights their photo, and then anyone who's matched up to them can anonymously swipe right to like their profile or left to pass on it as a match. If some who liked a profile likes theirs back, then it's a match, and the two users can start chatting privately with each other through the app. Tinder is completely free, but there are premium features that allow users to connect with people in other locations, undo certain swipes and get more "Super Likes" to let another user know they're extra special. 


Phone with Whatsapp logo on it
Adam Berry / Getty Images
What We Like
  • Supports audio and video calls.

  • Send your location.

  • Messages are encrypted.

  • Ad free.

What We Don't Like
  • Complicated to find past messages.

  • Voice calls aren't available in all countries.

  • File transfers are limited to 100 MB.

  • Need a person's phone number to contact them.

Currently, the most popular instant messaging provider worldwide, WhatsApp is a cross-platform app that uses your internet connection or data plan to send and receive messages. Users can send messages to individuals or groups using text, photos, videos, and even voice messages. Unlike Kik and other popular messaging apps, WhatsApp uses your phone number rather than usernames or pins (despite being an alternative to SMS). Users can allow WhatsApp to connect to their phone's address book so that their contacts can be seamlessly transferred to the app. The app also offers a few customizable features like profiles, wallpapers and notification sounds.



Slack, inc.

What We Like
  • Easier to communicate than email.

  • Supports large teams.

  • Easy to view archived messages.

  • Integrates with third-party apps.

What We Don't Like
  • Somewhat of a learning curve.

  • Notifications can be unreliable.

  • Expensive for large teams.

Slack is a popular communication platform for teams that need to collaborate closely with one another. It's basically a social network for the workplace. Team members can take advantage of real-time messaging, integration with other popular services like Dropbox and Trello, deep search for files and other information, configurable notifications and so much more. It's meant to keep everyone in the loop about what's going on at work or with a particular collaborative project and is super helpful for teams that include members working from different locations. 

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