General Purpose Social Media Sites
Facebook.Facebook is the
world's largest social network with over 1.4 billion members and annual
revenues exceeding $12 billion. There are apps available that allow
retailers (or even consumers) to sell to this community. Facebook is
QQ.QQ is a social network primarily
focused on instant messaging and has over 800 million members. It was
launched in China but has grown and is now offered in six languages:
English, French, Japanese, Spanish, German and Korean. QQ offers some
commerce functionality by using virtual money called "Q coin."
WhatsApp.WhatsApp is another
instant-messaging-focused social network with over 700 million members
globally. It was acquired by Facebook in February 2014 but operates
as a separate entity.
QZone.QZone is a social network
available only in China and has over 600 million members. This network
is also owned by Tencent (like QQ) and it sells accessories to allow
its users to customize the look of their webpages. QZone does a lot
of cross-promotion across the QQ platform to get more users.
WeChat.WeChat is a social mobile
app with voice and text messaging and almost 500 million members. This
is another social site that is part of Tencent. Users can register using
their phone number or even their Facebook account. Phone numbers of
approximately 100 countries are supported. WeChat also works with QQ.
LinkedIn.LinkedIn is a social
network for professionals. It has about 350 million members. LinkedIn
is available globally in 20 different languages and is used by the recruiting
professionals for hiring the right candidates.
Skype.(New) Skype offers
a social network that allows users to communicate by (a) voice using
a microphone, (b) video by using a webcam, and (c) instant messaging
over the Internet. Skype-to-Skype calls are free of charge, while calls
to landline telephones and mobile phones (over traditional telephone
networks) are charged via a debit-based user account system called Skype
Credit. Skype has over 300 million active users.
Google+.(New) Google+ is
Google's social community with over 300 million members. It offers a
popular video conferencing feature called Hangouts.
Instagram.Instagram is a photo-sharing
and video-sharing social network with over 300 million members. It is
part of the Facebook family. Instagram gained rapid adoption because
of its ability to easily apply multiple filters to a photo, which can
post to different social networks, like Facebook and Twitter.
Baidu Tieba.Baidu Tieba uses
search to enable its users to create a new social network for a specific
topic or join an existing social network for that topic. It has over
8 million such small social networks that are also called bars. Total
active users are over 300 million. It is offered internationally under
the brand name Postbar.
Twitter.Twitter enables its
just under 300 million users to send and receive 140-character messages
that are called tweets. Twitter is available worldwide and also offers
commerce features for shopping directly using tweets.
Viber.Viber is a social network
primarily focused on text and voice messaging with almost 250 million
members. It is available in over 30 languages and also allows calling
non-Viber users using a feature called Viber Out.
Tumblr.Tumblr is a micro-blogging
social network with over 200 million members. It allows users to post
blogs that others can follow, making it a good option to announce new
product introductions and promotions.
Snapchat.Snapchat is a messaging
social network that allows sharing of photos and videos for a limited
period of time that is defined by the user. It has over 200 million
users. The service is available in over 15 languages.
LINE.Line is a messaging social
network that enables its users to exchange texts, images, audio files,
or videos. It has over 200 million active users and is available worldwide
with the largest user base in Japan.
Weibo is a micro-blogging social network with over 150 million active
users. It is one of the most popular sites in China.
VK.VK, previously known as VKontakte,
is one of the largest Russian social networks with over 100 million
users. It offers features very similar to those on Facebook.
Reddit.Reddit is a social
network with over 100 million active users. It allows its members to
submit content and then vote to move the submissions up or down. Content
is organized by areas of interest that is called subreddits.
YY.YY is a unique social network
in China that supports group video chats with over 100,000 members simultaneously
watching a single person perform an activity, such as karaoke. It has
grown to about 100 million active users and also provides a way for
its users to make real money by converting virtual currency - i.e.,
"roses" - into real currency.
a means for over 75 million members to express themselves on the site
by sharing content, information, and experiences. It is one of the largest
social networks in Latin America.
Telegram.Telegram is an
instant messaging social network focused on privacy and multi-platform
availability. The site has over 50 million active users and is available
in 8 languages. Users can send encrypted and self-destructing messages
with photos and videos.
Tagged.Tagged is a social network
that encourages dating amongst its users. It acquired another social
network, Hi5, in 2011 to grow its community. It now has about 25 million
Myspace.Myspace is a social network
mostly focused around promoting music. At one point it was the largest
social network in the U.S. but it now has less than 20 million active
Badoo.Badoo is a dating-focused social
network with a presence in almost 200 countries. It is popular in Latin
America, Italy, Spain, and France and has about 20 million active users.
is a social network that enables discovery of content that has been
personalized to a user's interests. It is also offered as a browser
toolbar. It has roughly 10 million active users.
Foursquare.Foursquare is a
geo-location social network for the mobile users. It provides personalized
offers and recommendations based on a user's location. As of last year,
it has separated the social networking feature in a separate app called
Swarm. It supports 12 languages, with roughly 50 percent of its users
coming from outside the U.S.
MeetMe.MeetMe is a social network
focused around making new friends. It renamed itself from myYearbook
in 2012. It has several million users that are under 18 and is a good
target for retailers who want to sell to the younger consumers.
Meetup.Meetup is a social network
that enables a group to meet offline to discuss a specific topic. It
was originally created for politics but has now expanded to cover any
topic like fashion, games, and movies.
Skyrock.Skyrock is a social network
mainly targeted towards the French speaking community. The site offers
members space to create their profiles and blogs. The social network
is also available in English, Dutch, Italian, German, Spanish, and Portuguese.
Delicious.Delicious allows sharing
of bookmarks by having the users tag them with any keywords.
Kiwibox.Kiwibox is a social
network for teens and young adults. It also offers an online magazine
and is primarily used by its members to show off their interests and
skills, such as writing, photography, and technical tasks.
Photo Sharing Networks
Instagram and Snapchat are the largest photo sharing networks. But
there are others that are widely used.
Snapfish.Snapfish is the
largest photo sharing social network that provides its members with
unlimited space to upload their photos.
Flickr.Flickr continues to
be a popular social network among photography enthusiasts. It has millions
of photos uploaded to the site on a daily basis.
another photo sharing network with its photos being used for personal
and business purposes. It is also the default photo-sharing platform
for Twitter users.
a photo sharing site that showcases user-made artwork. It encourages
its members to provide feedback on the uploaded artwork and is considered
to be the largest social network of this kind in the world.
Fotolog.Fotolog is a photo
blogging social network with members in 200 countries. Most of its users
are based in South America.
Pinterest.Pinterest is a
photo sharing social network that allows photos to be pinned - i.e.,
shared - from other sites for access by the members of the network.
The site is more popular with women.
Buzznet.Buzznet is a photo
and video sharing site that integrates with Facebook. Members participate
in communities that are aligned with their interests.
We Heart It.We Heart It is a
photo sharing social network for inspiring images. Users can collect
and share their favorite images with their friends. It supports over
20 languages and has over 20 million members.
Path.Path is a photo-sharing and
messaging social network that allows its users to share photos with
up to 50 of their close friends and family members. It supports about
is a social network for music artists that helps them launch their careers
and helps provide them with the right industry access for their growth
Cross.tv.Cross.tv is a Christian
social network that is similar to Facebook and has about half a million
members. It is available in over 30 languages.
Flixster.Flixster is a social
network for the movie enthusiast, to connect with individuals with similar
taste in movies. It also runs a leading movie review site called Rotten
Gaia Online.Gaia Online
is an anime-themed social network with avatars, virtual worlds, gaming,
and many other features.
is a matchmaking social network targeted towards African Americans.
It also has forums for jobs and political discussions.
Care2.Care2 is social networking
site that connects activists from around the world with other individuals,
organizations, and responsible businesses that are making an impact.
is a nonprofit site that supports someone in a time of need. This could
be when someone is going through a medical challenge, or a tough time
after the passing of a close relative. People can share updates, photos,
and videos with their friends and family.
is an online community for the Gothic-industrial subcultures and has
grown over the years to have millions of members.
CafeMom.CafeMom is an ad-supported
social networking site, which is targeted at mothers and mothers to
be. This is a good place for retailers to offer products to moms.
Ravelry.Ravelry is a social
network for people interested in knitting, crocheting, spinning, or
weaving. The users can share ideas and their own collections to get
feedback and collaborate with other members.
is a paid social network that works like a private travel and social
club. The annual membership is $110 and is paid after the application
to become a member is approved.
Nextdoor.Nextdoor is a social
network for neighborhoods in the U.S. It allows it members to connect
with their neighbors and has gained significant adoption in the last
Wayn.Wayn is a travel social
network with a goal to (a) help discover where to go and what to do,
(b) meet like-minded people, and (c) share aspirations and experiences.
is a social network that makes travel affordable by connecting people
who are looking for a place to stay with people who welcome them to
sleep in their couches and homes. The objective is to make new friends
by using this shared economy model.
in connecting travelers. It allows users to find others who are planning
to travel to the same places at the same times, create travel based
blogs, upload travel photos, and review bars, restaurants, hotels and
Cellufun.Cellufun is an anonymous
social gaming community that can be accessed from any mobile device.
Users create avatars to represent themselves.
MocoSpace.MocoSpace is another
mobile social gaming network that is available in English and Spanish.
Itsmy.Itsmy is a mobile
gaming network that also enables communication between gamers and allows
games to be played on any device.
YouTube.YouTube is a video sharing
social network that enables its users to upload, view, and share videos.
It is available worldwide and is one of the most accessed sites on the
Youku.Youku is a YouTube clone based
in China and has roughly 500 million active users. Youku is only available
a comedy video site that allows users to upload, share, and rate videos.
It has a large following in the celebrity community.
Tout.Tout is a social networking
and micro-blogging service that enables its users to send and view 15-second
videos, known as "touts."
Vine.Vine is a short form video sharing
social network that allows its users to post 6-second videos. The service
integrates with other social networks to allow the videos to be watched
from other networks. It is owned by Twitter.
high school friends and also allows for the uploading of high school
MyLife.MyLife is a different
take on social networking, as it helps people find their friends, family
members, and business associates for a fee. The site used to be called
Reunion.com and Wink.com before it was renamed to MyLife.
discovery, sharing, and preserving of family history. Users can create
their family tree and search historical records to find ancestors. They
can also build connections with new relatives that are discovered using
the site. The site supports 42 languages. MyHeritage acquired Geni,
another similar site.
LinkedIn is the largest business network in the world. There are
many other business networks, however, and here are a few prominent
Viadeo.Viadeo is a social network
for business people mostly in Europe. It is offered in seven languages
and has over 50 million members.
Ryze.Ryze helps expand professionals'
business networks by connecting them with industry professionals and
like-minded individuals. It also offers sharing of practical advice,
tips, and resources between members.
Xing.Xing is a business network
similar to LinkedIn but with the ability to create closed groups to
enable private discussions within a company. Most of its users are in
Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
Pre-teen, Teen, and Young Adult Networks
WeeWorld.WeeWorld is a social
gaming company for teens and tweens where the users create avatars to
interact with each other.
Habbo.Habbo is a gaming company
for teenagers that allows them to pick their avatars and design hotel
rooms, meet new friends, chat with other players, and so on. The site
has presence in roughly 150 countries and is also the largest social
network in Finland.
Tuenti.Tuenti started out
as the "Spanish Facebook" but has now expanded to support 14 languages
with a mostly younger user base. After acquisition by Telefonica, it
has started offering mobile operator service.
Tumblr and Sina Weibo are two larger social networks focused around
blogging. Here are some other prominent ones.
Xanga.Xanga hosts weblogs, photoblogs,
and social networking profiles for its millions of members.
is a social network and collaboration platform dedicated to technology
professionals and companies to connect, collaborate, discover opportunities,
and create an ecosystem around products and services.
Plurk.Plurk is a social
networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send updates
through short messages or links, which can be up to 210 text characters.
Most of Plurk's traffic comes from Taiwan.
allows its users to maintain a blog, journal, or diary. Several prominent
public figures use this service - especially in Russia, where it partners
with an online newspaper. It is offered in 32 languages.
International Social Networks
Mixi.Mixi is a popular social networking
site in Japan with over 20 million active users. It is focused on matching
people based on common interests.
Douban.Douban is a Chinese
site that serves both registered and unregistered users. Registered
users can create content and connect with others while the unregistered
users can search and review the ratings of books, music, and movies.
Renren.Renren is a Chinese social
network that is popular amongst college students. It has over 30 million
Odnoklassniki.Odnoklassniki helps the
Russian community find classmates and old friends. It is offered in
nine different languages.
NK.NK is a Polish social network with
a focus on attracting high school and college students.
is a Belgian site targeted at the global youth demographic. The site
supports roughly 20 languages.
StudiVZ.StudiVZ is a German
social networking site for students.
Friendster.Friendster is a
social gaming network in Asia that supports 11 languages. Years ago,
it was the top social network in the U.S.
Kaixin001.Kaixin001 is a
gaming social network in China that attracts white collar workers.
51.com.51.com is one of the largest
social networks in China with over 50 million active users. It competes
with QZone, Renren, and Kaixin001.
Nexopia.Nexopia is a Canadian
social network with about 500,000 active members. It allows users to
create and design their profiles, have list of friends, blog, write
articles, and build photo galleries.
Draugiem.Draugiem is the largest
social networking site in Latvia with over 2 million members. It is
also available in English, Russian, and Hungarian.
Glocals.Glocals is a social
network created in Switzerland for the expatriate community. It allows
the community members to meet, organize activities, and share information.
Cyworld.Cyworld is a South
Korean social network with millions of members. It also operates in
China and Vietnam. It enables users to create friendships by using their