Social media works wonders when it comes to promoting your business, if you do it right. You might want to try out different types of social media, to see which works best for you and which one(s) you should carry on using. For example, if your business sells shoes, you may want to consider Instagram as it’s an image based channel that allows you to advertise your products through creative images or video. Some channels have been around for a while, and some are brand new. But which are the most popular as of 2017, and which ones have gone off the radar?

The most popular social media channels

When you think of social media, which channel do you think of? Facebook? Twitter? Instagram, perhaps? All of which are extremely relevant right now. As each channel produces new successful features, more and more people rush to use them, meaning more exposure and popularity. Facebook is one of the most used social media channels as of 2017, with around 1.15 billion users from across the world. This comes as no surprise though, as the channel is aiming to be the all-in-one social media that everyone goes to. Recently they’ve implemented live video and 360 video to the channel, making for an interesting side to social media that isn’t seen in many other channels. The connectivity with Instagram and other apps almost makes Facebook the master of all apps.

These are the most popular social media channels in terms of users:

  1. YouTube – 1.3 billion users
  2. Facebook – 1.15 billion users
  3. Instagram – 600 million users
  4. Tumblr – 550 million users
  5. LinkedIn 467 million users
  6. Twitter – 313 million users
  7. Snapchat – 300 million users


If we’re measuring popularity through the amount of users on each channel, YouTube would actually be the winner. 1.3 billion people have an account on YouTube, whether that be to upload or watch videos. But you could argue that Facebook is the most popular, as although there are less users, statistically 20% of time online is spent using Facebook. There’s no doubting that those two are the most popular based on users, though. On the other hand we have channels such as Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat, which are in the millions in terms of users, but that doesn’t mean that they aren’t popular. Most millennials use Snapchat and Instagram to upload pictures and videos. Twitter is one that has a split of both younger and older users, due to the different communities on the network. Although businesses can use it, Tumblr is more for personal use and so not many businesses tend to use the site to promote.


The channels that are no more

Some social media channels are one hit wonders. Take the most recent example – Vine. Vine was an app that allowed the user to create and watch 6 second videos. This made for some entertaining content, and many compilation videos on YouTube. But last year Twitter bought out Vine, meaning that the app is no more. The problem with this channel was that although it was fun at the time, there was only really one thing you could do with it. There wasn’t really any way in including more interesting features and updates, and so that saw Vine’s downfall.

MySpace is another channel that bit the dust. Unknown to most these days, the channel was once the most popular networking site from 2005 to 2009 before Facebook took over. The site is still up and running, but these days only around 15 million people view MySpace per month, and so it’s strange to think that this was once the go-to site.

Finally, we have Google+. Google+ was Google’s answer to Facebook, which turned out to be a failure. Many people had to make a Google+ account to sign in to or create a YouTube channel, so there are a lot of overall users, but reports show that over 90% of users have never even posted on the networking site. To users, it’s not so appealing to post on this channel when they already have a Facebook account to do the same thing on, and so it never truly took off the way Google had planned.

Which is best for my business?

Depending on your business, you should probably try and test different social media channels. Think about your audience, and which channel they’re most likely to use. For example, the younger generation are more likely to use Snapchat and Instagram, with the older generation using Facebook more. Think about how many people use the channel. As aforementioned, Facebook and YouTube are the channels with the most users. Think about how you can utilise these channels – do they offer a service where you can target a certain audience? Can you upload images? Videos? Even live video? Nowadays lots of the successful channels have at least one of these features, but it’s finding what’s right for you.

If you need help with running your social media, or perhaps you’re in need of a marketing campaign or new website, don’t hesitate to contact AMA.