The Top Social Media Platforms Across the World (2023)

Niraj Sharma |
 03/22/23 |
12 min read

The Top Social Media Platforms

We’re sure that if we asked you to name the top social media platforms, you’d say something like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter. And you’d be right. But there are other social media platforms to consider, especially when marketing in different regions and parts of the world.

This is something all marketers should consider. Just because TikTok reigns supreme in one region doesn’t mean this applies across the board, and the platform getting the most love may be completely unknown to you. We will explore the top social media platforms worldwide—covering NA, EMEA, APAC, and LATAM.

Social media continues to sway consumers’ hearts, making meeting consumers on these popular social media platforms a critical part of any brand’s marketing efforts. And these stats bear this out:

  • In January 2023, global social media users grew to 76 billion. That’s almost 60% of the world’s population.
  • Consumers spend 147 minutes every day using social media.
  • The average social media user utilizes 2 various social platforms monthly.

And social media users favor various apps for different reasons. For example, TikTok users love it for its funny videos and are increasingly using it as a search engine to discover new brands or products. Pinterest users are interested in researching and following content. Facebook users are there to keep in contact with friends and family, so much so that Facebook introduced a ‘friends and family’ feed.

Brands can use these social apps in many ways to maximize their reach and increase their share of voice—and each app has its advantages, as you’ll see. Let’s examine which platforms rule which regions and how brands can use them!

North America (NA)

In North America, there are 434.94 million active social media users, up from 420 million in 2021, indicating a rise of about 3%.


This social platform boasts 266 million active users in North America alone. And the United States is second only to India based on the number of visits, commanding around 72% of all social media site visits in the country. Facebook’s age demographics are mostly millennials, with 25 to 34 year-olds taking up the lion’s share.

Facebook is simple because practically all content formats function well there, including text, photos, video material, and Stories. Yet, the Facebook algorithm prioritizes content that promotes meaningful interactions and conversations among individuals, particularly those from family and friends. Brands must work hard to offer authentic content that resonates with their audience.

Once you figure that out, posts with an image do really well here, and you can attach a link, which encourages consumers to explore more. Polls are another way to engage your audience here.

Engagement is everything on Facebook, as the more your consumers engage with your posts, the more Facebook marks them as meaningful, and therefore you’ll show up in your audience’s feed more frequently.


Instagram is the home of visual content.

Instagram has 127.2 million active users in the United States—up from 114.6 million in 2020. And 44% of consumers associate this app with discovering local or small brands, and another 44% shop on Instagram every week.

This top social media platform is growing and continuously expanding on what they offer consumers. Posts are great on Instagram, but stories really win consumers over. With Reels and Stories, brands can bring their products to life in “an immersive format, with options to add stickers, emojis, and other creative elements.” It’s recommended on Instagram to do a split of 60% scheduled and 40% spontaneous stories.

But you need to offer content that is appealing to your consumers. One way to stay relevant with your audience is to see what’s trending that day in the Discover tab. Staying current on trends is critical to targeted messaging and ensuring that you’re not saying something insensitive.


This app has grown exponentially since 2020. 41% of US social media users now use this video-sharing app. In Canada, TikTok has also increased; 26% of adults use this app, with 43% of users between 18-29.

TikTok is the perfect advertising platform if your brand caters to a younger audience. Marketers can create meaningful and trendy content with no limit on filters, sound effects, musical snippets, and more to add to their videos. And there’s no shortage of interests you can appeal to.

And they have many ways brands can get noticed:

  • In-feed ads: You can tell your brand’s story in a manner that is authentic to TikTok with this sound-on, vertical video ad that uses interactive add-ons.
  • Spark ads: Boost videos, including your own, those generated by others, and those that include your business, to increase their impact.
  • Branded effect: Make a unique effect that appeals to TikTok users worldwide.
  • Hashtag challenge: Ask the TikTok community to join a trend you started for your company.
  • Top View: Make a statement by being the first ad a person sees when they open the app in the in-feed.

For example, Armani used a mix of ad solutions to supercharge their perfume campaign. The brand combined Shopping Ads with a premium Interactive Add-on format Pop-out Showcase, which triggered a library of clickable stickers that appear over a video ad. The brand experienced a 272% increase in click-through rate, a lift in brand awareness of 7.4%, and a lift in brand favorability of 4.8%.

armani beauty tiktok

Additionally, consumers use this app to educate themselves–from make-up tutorials to DIY and educational videos on economics and Bitcoin; TikTok users are there to learn and stay up to date—which gives brands a unique in with this DIY crowd.

Europe Middle East Africa (EMEA)

Time spent on social media continues to grow in Europe, with the highest rates of adoption seen in Northern and Western Europe. For the Middle East (UAE specifically), the penetration rate is expected to hit 96% by 2025. And in Africa, there are 384 million social media users currently.

Facebook is everywhere, and once again, it wins as a top social media platform; In Europe alone, 304 million people use it, and in Africa, 271 million use this popular platform to connect. In the Middle East, Facebook’s sister company, WhatsApp is preferred. But WhatsApp is also gaining speed in Europe and Africa, with some countries within these areas preferring it. According to Statista, “Spain was the European country with the highest WhatsApp penetration rate, with approximately 90 percent of its digital population using the over-the-top messaging service. Italy ranked second with a penetration rate of 89 percent, while Portugal followed with over 88 percent of the internet users in the country.” As you can see, it’s growing.



WhatsApp is an over-the-top messaging service, and since social media can be used as a service differentiator, messaging apps have become a top way consumers interact with brands. It’s no secret that consumers will use social media to voice their complaints; after having one bad experience, 50% will complain on social media.

WhatsApp can be used successfully by brands to cool any fires, communicate updates to customers about their purchases, and offer customer service, resolving any issues before they get out of hand. It’s an excellent tool for increasing brand health.

The WhatsApp Business app is available for small businesses, and the WhatsApp Business API is available for enterprise businesses.


YouTube users are expected to grow globally by 346 million (+44.05%) between 2022 and 2028. And in Africa alone, this top social media platform is forecast to increase to 27.5 thousand users (+3.66 percent) by 2028. And in Europe, this video-sharing social platform is a favorite as well—in the UK alone, 57.1 million users interact with the platform, while In Germany, that number jumps to 70.9.

YouTube is a video platform where consumers go down wormholes watching their favorite content creators—from gaming to tutorials. In fact, in the Middle East and North Africa, YouTube influencers are growing; 33% of YouTube creators in Saudi Arabia indicated that making content is their favorite part of YouTube, followed by optimizing their videos. And this is where brands can raise their presence—through influencer marketing.

Finding the right influencer can raise brand awareness, increase brand health and, of course, increase revenue. There’s not a downside to this style of marketing—that is if you find the right influencer. That’s where having a social media tool with influencer identification comes in handy!

NetBase Quid® influencer analysis for a top clothing and outdoor company. It identifies top influencers within various segments and reveals their follower count, mentions, and engagements.


In the UK, specifically, there are 18.4 million users of this news-savvy app. And it’s growing in Africa, especially since it set up headquarters in Ghana in 2021. The majority of Twitter users on the African continent were in Northern Africa—combined with the Middle East, these areas have experienced a 16% YoY growth.

Twitter users enjoy posting about news, entertainment, sports, and other subjects. Twitter differs from most other social media platforms because it emphasizes real-time information, including trends and events that are now happening, and does it in only 280 characters.

For consumers, Twitter is a well-liked substitute for other customer service channels. Even Twitter recognizes its power to help brands with customer support. 75% of customers will Tweet and expect a response from the brand. Petco shows us how it’s done below:

Brands can win their customer care game on Twitter if they know how to use the app effectively. How can you do this?

It’s crucial to let clients know immediately that you have a personable brand and welcome their interaction. Quite a bit of this is direct social media marketing:

  • Create a distinctive visual identity for use across platforms. This covers things like logo placement and color schemes.
  • Establish a recognizable brand voice. This needs to be audience-specific. Do they desire a humorous, educational, sober, or considerate brand?
  • Set alerts through your social analytics tool—this will immediately alert you to any new comments, brand mentions, hashtags, or messages.

Latin America (LATAM)

LATAM is the fifth-largest in the world. More than 306.7 million people use social media platforms in the sub region of South America alone.


Pinterest has over 450 million users worldwide—a growing amount can be found in Latin America when in 2021, Pinterest accelerated its expansion. Currently, there are:

  • 46 million active users in Brazil
  • 23 million active users in Mexico
  • 12 million active users in Argentina

Pinterest drives 10x higher branded searches off the platform than other social media channels. And 80% of pinners have discovered a new brand or product on Pinterest. Additionally, it fuels creativity and inspiration for its devoted users, making pinning captivating content and imagery a must.

And even though 80% of consumers use this app to shop for new products or brands, don’t let that blind you. This can be an excellent opportunity to create Inspiration or how-to boards that offer valuable and meaningful content for your audience.

For example, Dove used their board to pin helpful advice on reducing plastic use. And by the comments, their audience appreciates them for taking the time to do this.

But you don’t have to post just photos; you can also use videos. Pinterest carousel option makes it easy for brands to post multiple images to one pin.


This region is among the most active in the platform’s global expansion, with 136.1 million TikTok users in 2022 and a predicted increase to 173.3 million by 2027. And this is another app where influencers rule the roost, and consumers love it. From Mexico to Chile, influencers are big. Consider Kimberly Loaiza has more than 73 million followers, making her one of the most followed personalities on the platform worldwide.

And this is where brands can take advantage of TikTok-influencer marketing. There are hundreds on this top social media platform. And in many ways, it’s better than using some traditional ad routes on TikTok. You don’t suffer from negative feedback from ads and don’t have to worry as much about cultivating the right audience as you do with native videos on your company account.

But you do need to work with your influencers to develop a creative plan that helps them catch their audience’s interest to create a love of your brand and goods.

Additionally, when working with an influencer, you should pay close attention to engagement and awareness indicators–they can be a great indicator of whether your efforts are paying off and measure your brand health and loyalty.


Telegram isn’t as well known in some parts of the world, but it is one of the top social media platforms in the LATAM region.

Among Latin American nations, Brazil had the highest penetration of Telegram adoption. About six out of ten internet users in the country between the ages of 16 and 64 reported using this platform. Moreover, Telegram was used by five out of ten users in Colombia.

So, what is it? Telegram, like WhatsApp, is a messaging app. It’s best used as a customer service tool. However, it has some unique aspects to it.

Brands can make use of Telegram’s channel feature. Users can subscribe to channels, but it’s a one-way communication channel to post messages to unlimited subscribers. This is a fantastic way to keep consumers updated on your products or even the changes you’re making in your company that may pique consumer interest (such as efforts to be more sustainable)—any information you want your consumers to know can be shared here.

Additionally, brands can set up groups. Remember chat rooms? Well, this is the modern version of them. Brands can reply in real-time to consumers’ questions or comments. Additionally, chatting with consumers is a great way to personalize your brand!

Asia Pacific (APAC)

The Asia Pacific region has had a strong response to social media, with the citizens of the Philippines spending the longest time on social media per day, which ranks higher than the global average and is followed by Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, and India. And China, India, Indonesia, and Japan lead the way regarding monthly active users


China has reached 983 million social media users, many of whom are on Qzone. This top social media platform has reached a penetration rate in China of 41.6%. And it’s one of Tencent’s impressive lines of social apps.

Reaching a younger audience (18-30), it combines social aspects with blogging. Users can stream music, play games, keep diaries, and submit multimedia. They can also connect with friends, view a feed of updates, comment on, share, or otherwise respond to posts. And just like Facebook, users can update their cover or profile pictures.

For brands looking to capture Qzone’s audience, there are a few tools specifically for companies. Brands can take advantage of pop-up, banner, full-screen, and app wall ads. It’s important to note, however, the kind of content that wins on this app is interactive or content focused.

Blog entries and discussions on this social media platform are excellent ways to engage your consumers. But what should you write about? Social media analytics can help locate your audience’s interests and get the conversation going!

Demographics revealing audience interests for Uber Eats.

Demographics revealing audience interests for Uber Eats.

By appealing to topics that resonate with your audience, you bring the wizard out from behind the curtain and personalize your brand.


Another of Tencent’s social apps, QQ, is an instant messenger. And they also have a mobile version called Mobile QQ. The most active age group for both is under 25 (27.7%). The second largest group was aged between 31 to 40 years (25.8%). And QQ’s desktop version currently has 574 million monthly active users.

Besides acting as a messenger app, QQ allows users to create avatars, watch movies, play games, stream music, shop online, blog, and make payments. And because consumers can shop here, it’s an excellent option for brands to get their products and services in front of consumers’ eyes.

Mobile QQ provides demographic data of its users, including location, age, gender, interests, and more—which helps create targeted messaging and ads. And because it’s a Tencent app, its integrated advertising features can also be shared with Qzone—expanding a brand’s reach.

One of the best features of this top social media platform is its fan groups. QQ influencers most often create these groups. They invite their fans to a large group chat. Partnering with an influencer fan organization would be an excellent opportunity for a company to interact with a specialized niche.

Which influencer is right for you? You’ll have to refer to a social media analytics tool to find one that resonates with your audience and aligns with your company values.

Sina Weibo

Daily active users increased on this top social media platform by about three million to 252 million between 2001 and 2022. It has 586 million monthly active users and is one of China’s most popular social networking sites.

Sina Weibo is a microblogging platform that compares to Twitter and Instagram.

Users can publish photos, videos, and stories on Weibo, view popular topics, include hashtags in their postings, and use the network for instant messaging.

Businesses can create official, verified profiles on Weibo to interact with followers and run sponsored advertising campaigns.

Fan tunnels are regarded as the most clever method of attracting new customers. How does it work? Like TikTok’s top view option, Weibo displays your content at the top of people’s news feeds. Additionally, brands can specifically target them according to age, gender, area, interests, and even device type.

A unique ad option is the Weibo Lottery. Think of it as a giveaway– Users can receive rewards for their engagements (like, share, etc.) with your brand. And to keep things transparent, the Weibo marketing system chooses the winner. Free goodies are always a great way to get someone interested in your brand, and if they like it, they’ll share the love.

It’s always a good idea to know the top social media platforms. You never know what opportunity could be waiting for you on them. But you’ll need a reliable social media listening tool to help you navigate marketing to them—especially regarding targeted messaging, locating an influencer, or deciding which products to advertise.

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