Digital marketers dedicate a lot of their resources to social media and for good reason — brands can potentially reach all of the world’s social media users with a presence on just one or two of the larger platforms!

Of course, not all of these platforms are the best fit for every brand, so it’s important to review the differences and benefits of each one. Luckily, that’s exactly what this article is intended to do: evaluate the top social media apps for 2023. Let’s get started.

The Top Social Media Apps for 2023

1. Facebook

Not surprisingly, Facebook remains the leading social media app with the most users worldwide. The largest user group includes those between 25-34 years of age, with 19.3 percent of males in that group and 13.1 percent of females. The age groups of 18- to 24-year-olds and 35- to 44-year-olds are not far behind, and Facebook reaches the largest number of users ages 13 to 17. Despite this data, it’s important to note older age groups (65 years and older) are the fastest-growing segment among these top platforms.

If you plan to engage in social media advertising, then you may also want to take note of Facebook’s growing advertising reach. It’s particularly expansive among users ages 65 and older. You can complete the Facebook Blueprint Digital Marketing Associate Certification when you enroll in any of Simplilearn’s Digital Marketing Courses.  

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2. YouTube

The social media app with the second largest number of users worldwide, YouTube continues to dominate the online video landscape. In fact, 95 percent of the global population watches content on YouTube. It also happens to be the second most-trafficked website after Google.

In the U.S., where the second-highest amount of YouTube traffic originates, the largest user group falls between the ages of 18 and 25 years old. Yet more than half of users ages 56 and older watch content on the app.



3. WhatsApp

Third in the list of most-used social media apps is WhatsApp, the messaging service owned by Facebook and the most popular around the globe. Despite it being banned in China, WeChat was the second most installed non-game app across the globe after social media app TikTok.

In terms of users, WhatsApp usage decreases with age. While one in five adults in the U.S. uses the app, usage is highest among those ages 18 to 24. The next largest user groups are those ages 25 to 29, and 30 to 49. 

Given this popularity, it will be interesting to watch if user behaviors change considering the latest updates to WhatsApp’s terms and conditions. Users are more concerned about what this means in terms of privacy and personal data protection (or the lack of it) through Facebook.

4. Facebook Messenger

Coming in fourth among the top social media apps for 2021, Facebook Messenger remains strong in terms of user count, expected to hit 2.4 billion global users this year. As a popular messaging service with people in emerging markets, Messenger is commonly used for product research and directly messaging businesses. Brands often incorporate chatbots with Messenger to answer the most frequently asked questions from customers, which offers a surface level of customer service and frees up the customer service team for other, more heavy-duty requests.

5. Instagram and Weixin/WeChat

While Instagram and Weixin/WeChat come in about the same in terms of most-used social apps, the two couldn’t be more different. Instagram largely focuses on image and video sharing while WeChat is considered the “Facebook of China” although it offers much more

Instagram users tend to skew on the younger side, with more than two-thirds of its total audience aged 34 years old and younger. It’s also one of the apps where Gen Z spends most of its social media time. The largest user group goes to the U.S. with India coming in second and Brazil in third.

WeChat offers a lot of opportunities for marketers focused on China. Users spend more than 70 minutes every day in the app, and there are numerous ways to connect with customers — whether it’s through messaging, shopping, payments, or just making appointments.

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6. Twitter

There is no doubting Twitter's influence. Professionals, professors, organizations, journalists, your neighbors (probably), and almost every international celebrity are all there in this hub of activity. It serves as a platform for discourse, amusement, news, opinion, business updates, and much more. As a digital marketer, you must pay attention to a social media platform with an average of 326 million monthly users.

7. TikTok

TikTok, which describes itself as "the destination for short-form mobile videos," is a relative newcomer to the social media industry, having just received official approval to operate in its current format in 2017. Despite having a reputation as a social networking platform geared toward younger audiences, TikTok has one billion active users globally, making it more popular than LinkedIn and Twitter in terms of user numbers. TikTok provides plenty of chances for marketers to connect with younger people on their terms as a creative and collaborative environment.

8. Snapchat

Snapchat, which is renowned for the fleeting nature of its interactions and messages, profoundly changed the way we all communicate on our phones. It pushed our digital lives away from the desktop-focused social media platforms of the middle to late 2000s and toward portable smartphones as social media platforms. Originally designed as a one-to-one photo-sharing app, Snapchat currently has a wide range of features available, including movies, live video conferencing, messaging, avatars, and the ability to create a timeline that users can share with their followers.

9. Reddit

More than 48 million people use the community-focused content aggregator Reddit each month. Users write articles on various subjects, which are subsequently upvoted or downvoted by other users. Reddit is immensely successful despite its relatively simple design and user experience because it is a social news site that offers users control over the material they read and discuss. Reddit is still incredibly underutilized by marketers despite being the ninth most popular website in the United States.

10. Pinterest

From interior design, nature, crafts, food, and recipes to fashion, celebrities, beauty, and hair, Pinterest is the ultimate visual inspiration discovery tool. Users can save images and ideas into their lists and collections to keep their thoughts well-categorized and structured (referred to as "boards"). Additionally, they can efficiently work with other users by sharing their boards or using "group boards."

11. LinkedIn

World's largest professional network, LinkedIn, has 310 million active users per month. Today, LinkedIn offers a wide range of additional features about business and employment, including online training courses and business services such as finding talent, growth solutions, and customer acquisition. LinkedIn was initially developed as an online networking site for jobseekers and career-changers.

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12. Telegram

Evans Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown, three former Stanford University students, created Snapchat, a multimedia instant messaging service. Users can send messages and photographs, which are only viewable for a brief period before disappearing.

  • Headquarters: United Arab Emirates, Dubai
  • Date of Launch: August 13, 2013
  • Nikolai and Pavel Durov are the founders
  • 500 million active users each month

13. Quora

Users can post questions and answers on the social networking website Quora. Users communicate with one another by responding to questions posed by other users and leaving comments. Despite generating $20 million in sales annually, Quora is valued at $4 billion.

  • 300 million active users each month
  • Bringing in $20 million
  • Office location: Mountain View, California
  • Date of Launch: June 25, 2009
  • Founders: Charlie Cheever and Adam D'Angelo

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About the Author

Rob SandersRob Sanders

Rob Sanders is a digital marketing veteran with over 20 years of experience. During that time, Rob has helped a wide range of companies utilize new and emerging technologies to increase sales and profitability. As founder of RSO Consulting, Rob helps clients maximize their digital marketing efforts via SEO, SEM, SMO, and Web Analytics. He is responsible for many facets of the web analytics value chain, from identifying business goals and objectives to developing strategies and translating those into Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). Rob also teaches digital marketing and analytics classes throughout the U.S. and abroad. As a contributor for Simplilearn, Rob creates expert thought leadership content on a variety of digital marketing and analytics topics.

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