Social networking sites are here to stay, but while social networking isn’t going anywhere, the most popular social media sites continue to change as time goes by.
Older social media trends die off and new ones quickly appear. Several years ago, MySpace dominated social media, but few people use this site anymore. Today, social sites like Twitter and Facebook are the social network hotspots.
Since social media platforms continue to change, savvy business owners need to be aware of what communities are relevant. Learning to use multiple social networking sites is essential for online business success today.
Which sites are the most popular?
Here is a closer look at the top social media sites …
Launched in 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg and his Harvard roommates, Christ Hughes, Andrew McCollum, Eduardo Saverin, and Dustin Moskovitz, Facebook is currently the biggest social network out there. Originally designed to be a membership site for Harvard Students, it would later be expanded to offer memberships to other colleges in the Boston area. Today it is headquartered in Menlo Park, California and allows anyone of 13 years old or older to sign up as a user of the website.
With more than 1 billion users, Facebook is often considered synonymous with “social media.” While Facebook focuses on sharing links, photos, and videos with friends and family members, it’s also a place where individuals can follow organizations and brands as well.
New users can go to Facebook.com to sign up for a new account. After registering, users are able to create their own user profile, add friends, post status updates, videos, and photos, and exchange messages. Users also have the ability to join common interest user groups.
Just a few facts and statistics about Facebook include:
- Facebook was the fastest company to reach a market cap of $250 billion in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index
- Facebook’s Alexa Rank is 2
- 79% of people within the United States will “like” something on Facebook for a discount
- 91% of millennials use Facebook
- The average user on Facebook has 300 friends
Considered one of the simplest social media platforms, Twitter was created in 2006 by Noah Glass, Evan Williams, Biz Stone, and Jack Dorsey. The service gained popularity across the world very quickly and is often referred to as the “SMS of the internet.” Today Twitter is headquartered in San Francisco, California with over 25 offices around the globe, and more than 500 million people use this social media site.
Twitter is considered a microblogging platform that allows users to post tweets that have a 140-character limit. While unregistered users have the ability to read tweets on Twitter, you must register to post tweets.
It is very simple to register. Simply head to Twitter.com and choose the signup option. You can have your own account in just minutes.
A few statistics and facts about Twitter include:
- Approximately 23% of US adults use Twitter
- Saudi Arabia has the highest percentage of active Twitter users
- Twitter users shop online an average of 6.9 times per month
- Twitter has 100 million daily users
- 34% of active Twitter users long on more than once each day
- Twitter has an Alexa Rank of 8
LinkedIn, often known as the social networking site for business, was founded in 2002, although it was not launched until 2003. The founders of LinkedIn include Reid Hoffman, Eric Ly, Allen Blue, Jean-Luc Vaillant, and Konstantin Guericke, and Reid Hoffman is currently the Chairman of the company.
Currently, the social network has over 364 million users from over 200 territories and countries.
Since LinkedIn is geared towards business, it offers an excellent place to network, recruit new employees, find a job, meet new customers, and get in touch with vendors.
It is also an excellent place to keep up with the latest news in your industry. LinkedIn makes it easy to promote yourself or your business, showing off your work experience and education while interacting with groups and making connections with other professionals.
Visit LinkedIn.com to set up your new profile, list your current and past work experience, and show off your current skills.
A few statistics and facts about LinkedIn include:
- This social networking site is available in 24 different languages, including English, Arabic, Spanish, French, Chinese, Italian, Dutch, German, and more
- 28% of US adults use LinkedIn
- Only 13% of adult US users use LinkedIn daily
- LinkedIn has an Alexa Rank of 9
- LinkedIn gets 97 million unique visitors each month
YouTube is another of the top social media sites and is a video sharing service that is now often called the “world’s second-largest search engine.” From how-to videos to first-person product reviews, it is possible to find videos on nearly any topic on YouTube. Available content on YouTube includes music videos, video blogs, educational videos, video clips, original videos, and TV clips. Users are able to rate, share, and comment on videos. YouTube users also have the ability to post their own videos.
Former PayPal members, Steve Chen, Jawed Karim, and Chad Hurley, created YouTube in 2005. Later, in 2006, Google purchased YouTube for more than a billion dollars. Today YouTube is a subsidiary of Google and users now log in using their Google account information. If you do not have a Google account, you’ll need to sign up for one to access YouTube.
A few statistics and facts about LinkedIn include:
- 78% of YouTube’s traffic comes from outside of the United States
- YouTube gets 2 billion views each day
- 83% of B2B manufacturing marketers make use of YouTube for content marketing
- The average user spends 15 minutes each day on YouTube
Launched in 2010, Instagram is an online mobile photo sharing and video sharing social network that allows users to take videos and pictures, sharing them on various social media platforms, such as Tumblr, Facebook, Flickr, and Twitter. Created by Mike Krieger and Kevin Systrom, Instagram was later acquired by Facebook in 2012.
Instagram offers a quick connection between your smartphone’s camera and all of your social networking profiles. Not only can you easily share photos on social networking sites, you can use various filters to add character to the photos. It is also possible to add friends who can comment on your photos.
If you want to sign up for Instagram, you will have to sign up using the app, which is available from the iTunes app store or the Google Play store. It is possible to sign in to Instagram online, but you can only sign up with for a new account with the app.
A few statistics and facts about Instagram include:
- Facebook paid $1 billion to acquire Instagram
- Instagram has an Alexa Rank of 32
- 70 million images are shared on Instagram every day
- Instagram has over 400 million monthly active users
- Over 75 million people use Instagram daily
Within the last few years, Pinterest has made a huge splash in the social media world, and it’s particularly popular with women. Pinterest is a virtual inspiration and idea board that became a major player in social networking so fast that it quickly proved how quickly visual content has become important to the internet.
Founded by Paul Sciarra, Evan Sharp, and Ben Silbermann, Pinterest was first launched in 2010. Today it’s headquartered in San Francisco, California, it’s managed by Cold Brew Labs, and the company has approximately 500 employees.
Available in multiple languages, it is easy to sign up for Pinterest. Originally, when Pinterest grew quickly, you had to have an invite to join the site. However, today it is easy to sign up on your own. Sign up with your Facebook login information or you can sign up with your email address.
A few statistics and facts about Pinterest include:
- Pinterest brings in more traffic than LinkedIn and Google+ combined
- It has an Alexa Rank of 26
- More than 100 million people are now using the site
- 25% of consumers prefer to spend more time on Pinterest than on other social media sites
- The most pinned items on Pinterest include food, home items, arts & crafts, style/fashion, and products
Google+ is a social network operated and owned by Google Inc. It is the company’s fourth jump into social networking, and within the initial years, it experienced fairly strong growth, although user engagement has been lower than that of other social networks.
Originally debuting in 2001, the platform quickly started to grow. Finally, the company succeeded at something people wanted to use after failing with Google Wave and Google Buzz.
Google+ brings together some of the best features of Twitter and Facebook and the site is backed by Google, the world’s largest search engine. It offers a little something for every person, making it possible to use hashtags, add new content, easily set up a profile, and separate contacts into circles.
Signing up for a Google+ profile is simple. You can simply use your current Google login information at Plus.Google.com.
A few statistics and facts about Google+ include:
- The largest share of the Google+ user base is made up of males between 24-36 years of age
- Approximately 38% of online Americans use Google+
- Google+ now has 300 million users that are active each month
- Only 13% of small businesses are using Google+
- The average user only spends about 7 minutes on Google+ each month
StumbleUpon is a different type of site, considered a discovery engine that helps find and recommend web content for users. The features it offers makes it easy to discover and rate web videos, photos, and pages that have been personalized to the user’s interests and tastes using social networking and peer sourcing principles. Toolbar versions of StumbleUpon are available for Google Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Firefox.
In 2002, Garrett Camp, Justin LaFrance, Eric Boyd, and Geoff Smith founded StumbleUpon. Originally started while Garrett was in post-grad school in Canada, eventually the software attracted the attention of Brad O’Neill, a Silicon Valley investor, who helped move the company to San Francisco.
EBay went on to acquire StumbleUpon in 2007 for $75 million, but later in 2009, Geoff Smith, Garrett Camp, and several other investors would buy it back.
Today it is an investor backed, independent startup that has offices in New York City and San Francisco.
Simply visit StumbleUpon.com to sign up for the site. You can sign up using your email address or you have the ability to connect with Facebook, making it quick and easy to sign up.
A few statistics and facts about StumbleUpon include:
- StumbleUpon is second only to Facebook at driving referral traffic to websites
- StumbleUpon has more than 25 million registered users
Reddit is a news, entertainment, and social networking site where members of the community can submit content, including direct links or text posts. This makes it operate a bit like an online bulletin board. Users have the ability to vote up or down content that has been submitted by users. The links or posts that have the most upvotes are pushed to the first page of their unique subreddit. Subreddits are areas of interest and include topics like movies, books, news, food, music, fitness, photosharing, gaming, and more.
Founded by Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman, who were University of Virginia roommates, Reddit was first launched in 2005. In 2006, Conde Nast Publications acquired Reddit and it later went on to become a direct subsidiary of Advance Publications, which is Conde Nast’s parent company. Today Reddit is based out of San Francisco, California.
It is free to register an account and you do not have to use an email address to sign up. Simply head to Reddit.com and you can sign up for a free account.
A few statistics and facts about Reddit include:
- Reddit has an Alexa Rank of 32
- More than 202 million people visit this popular site each month
- Reddit users come from more than 208 different countries
- 58% of the users on Reddit are 35 or younger
Tumblr is considered a social networking site and microblogging platform and has become very popular, particularly among younger users. It is very popular for its visual content, much like Pinterest.
It is easy to customize the blog theme, follow other users, be followed back, and post content in various formats. Both “liking” and reblogging are popular ways to interact with others on this social network.
While development of Tumblr started in 2006, it was not until 2007 that it was actually launched by David Karp. Within just two weeks, Tumblr had over 75,000 users. In 2013, Tumblr and Yahoo! reached a deal and Yahoo! Inc. acquired the site for $1.1 billion, although David Karp stayed on as the CEO.
New users can sign up at Tumblr.com and signup requires an email address, password, and a username. It’s also available as an app for mobile devices.
A few statistics and facts about Tumblr include:
- Tumblr has an Alexa Rank of 34
- They now have over 420 million users
- There are more than 257 million blogs on Tumblr
- Over 121 billion posts have been made on this site
- More than 113 million posts are made on Tumblr each day
There are other social networking sites that are getting bigger by the minute and it just goes to show you how sites built with human interaction are very popular.
Join some of there sites today and enjoy what they have to offer.