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The State of Social Media 2024

Updated: Feb 13

Au revoir to year of Roman Empires, Barbenheimer, and girl dinner. While no one can predict the social media trends that 2024 will bring, there's lots of data available to help you understand how to best use these platforms for your business this year.


Scenda 2024 State of Social Media

We've compiled a lot of that information here so you can make the most of social media in 2024:


 

Top Social Media Platforms in the United States

In the United States, Facebook reigns supreme, especially among adults over 50. After a few years of explosive growth, TikTok is now as popular as Instagram.


Most Popular Social Media Platforms in the U.S. by monthly active users, in millions Facebook: 243.58, YouTube: 239, TikTok: 143.4, Instagram: 143.35, Snapchat: 108.8, X (Twitter): 95.4, Pinterest: 86.8, WhatsApp: 79.6, LinkedIn: 66.8, Reddit: 26.4

Note: Even though Facebook is the most popular social media platform in the United States, it might not be the best place for your business to reach your specific customers. Scenda can help you determine which social media platforms your business should use.


 

Top Social Media Platforms Worldwide

Like in the U.S., Facebook and YouTube are the most popular social media platforms globally. WhatsApp is much more popular outside the U.S., while LinkedIn and Reddit are much less popular.


Most Popular Social Media Platforms Worldwide by monthly active users, in millions Facebook: 3,030, YouTube: 2,491, WhatsApp: 2,000, Instagram: 2,000, WeChat: 1,327, TikTok: 1,218, Telegram: 800, Snapchat: 750, Douyin: 743, Kuaishou: 673, X (Twitter): 666, Sina Weibo: 599, QQ: 571, Pinterest: 465

Most of the social media platforms that are popular internationally but not in the U.S. are Chinese platforms. Here's a quick overview of these channels.

  • WeChat: Chinese instant messaging, social media, and mobile payment platform

  • Telegram: Instant messaging platform headquartered in Dubai with end-to-end encryption, especially popular in India, Russia, Indonesia, and Brazil, but with users all around the globe

  • Douyin: Bytedance's version of TikTok in China

  • Kuaishou (Kwai, SnackVideo): Chinese short-form video platform similar to TikTok, popular in China, South Korea, Vietnam, Philippines, Russia, Thailand, Indonesia, Turkey, Pakistan, and Brazil

  • Sina Weibo (Weibo): Chinese microblogging platform similar to X (Twitter)

  • QQ: Chinese instant messaging, social media, and web portal platform


 

Fastest-Growing Social Media Platforms

These social media platforms are increasing their usage the most.


  1. BeReal: +313%

  2. Twitch: +29%

  3. LinkedIn: +20%

  4. TikTok: +16%

  5. Snapchat: +8%


 

New Social Media Platforms

These social media platforms were recently launched and/or are becoming more broadly used. Which channels do you think have staying power? Only time will tell.


  • Threads: Instagram's version of Twitter

  • Partiful: Party planning platform

  • WeAre8: Every day, users are presented with 8 minutes of videos that support social and environmental causes

  • Lemon8: Bytedance's photo-sharing app

  • Supernova: Billed as a more positive social network that donates a significant portion of profits to charity

  • BAND: Designed to facilitate group communication

  • EToro: A crypto trading platform and social network

  • Peanut: Facilitates connections among women in the same stage of life

  • Elpha: Professional networking app for women

  • Fizz: Private campus-specific platform for college students

  • Hypelist: Make and share lists of all your favorite things


 

What Each Social Media Platform is Best For

Every social media platform is used a little bit differently. Understand the strengths of each can help you decide which channels your business should use. Want to know who uses each of these platforms? Check out our blog post on the Demographics of Each Social Media Platform.

Instagram

Instagram is said to be the best platform for building relationships with brands.


It’s a search engine, too. Nearly 40% of Gen Z would rather search for info on TikTok and Instagram than Google.

Facebook

Facebook is the world’s most-used social media platform.


Facebook is used most to stay connected with friends and family. 

YouTube

YouTube is the world’s second-most visited website, after Google.


Music, how-to, gaming, sports, and comedy content is particularly popular.

TikTok

TikTok has especially thriving communities for book, car, and movie lovers, as well as for small businesses and sustainability.


It’s a search engine, too. Nearly 40% of Gen Z would rather search for info on TikTok and Instagram than Google.

X (Twitter)

X is particularly popular for learning about news and current events.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn focuses on professional networking.

Pinterest

Pinterest is commonly used to inspire projects and plan life moments.


The most popular Pinterest categories are home décor, DIY and crafts, entertainment, education, art, fashion, food and drinks, beauty, event planning, and gardening.

Threads

Threads is used largely by people seeking an alternative platform to X.

Snapchat

Many of Snapchat’s users do not use other social media platforms frequently, so it has a unique audience.


Top reasons for using Snapchat include talking to friends, sharing photos and videos, and trying lenses and filters.


 

How Often to Post on Each Social Media Platform

These are general recommendations for how often to post on each social media channel. However, every account is a little different, so experiment and see what works best for your business. Above all, consistency is key, so choose a cadence that you can realistically sustain.

Instagram

3-5x a week

TikTok

3-5x a week

LinkedIn

1-2x a day

Facebook

1-2x a day

YouTube

at least 1x a week

X (Twitter)

2-3x a day

Pinterest

at least 1x a week

Want help developing a social media plan that is sustainable for your business? Scenda can create a custom content schedule based on your business's resources.


 

Best Times to Post on Each Social Media Platform

These are generally the times when social media users are most engaged. Times in this study were recorded globally, so they'll apply to whatever time zone you're in.


As with the post frequency recommendations, the best times to post for your business may be a little different from these general times. For instance, if your audience is mainly teachers, you may want to try posting your content before or after school hours. Experiment and see what works best for you.


 

How Each Social Media Platform's Algorithm Works

Each of the major social media platforms uses some variation of the same criteria to decide what content to show users. They look at a user's demographics, the content they interact with, who they're connected with, and other behaviors to predict what content they'd like to see. They match that prediction with relevant content that's new or popular.


But each platform has its own little quirks, and getting to know those quirks can boost your content's performance.

Instagram

Prioritizes:

  • Recent posts shared by people you follow

  • Content from people you don't follow based on who you've followed or engaged with recently, content topics, preferred post format, when and where something was posted, and other information about the post and poster

  • Posts getting a lot of engagements, especially if they're getting them quickly

  • Content that is relevant to current topics and trends


Reels are not inherently favored over photos anymore.

Users are more likely to see content from people they engage with, so it's important for brands to engage with followers.

Facebook

Prioritizes:

  • Posts from connections: friends, Pages you follow, and groups you've joined

  • Posts getting a lot of engagements

  • Content types each user prefers (if they watch a lot of videos, they'll get more videos)

Uses information about you, like recent actions you've taken, to predict what you'd most like to see.

YouTube

Tracks what viewers watch and for how long, what they skip, and other actions to recommend other videos they'd like.

TikTok

Prioritizes:

  • Videos created natively on TikTok

  • Content relevance over creator popularity, so don't have to have a lot of followers to be recommended

  • Videos that do not show graphic or dangerous content


Blends familiar and new content on the For You Page.

Shows content based on engagement and views its getting, the accounts you follow and engage with, details about the video, location, language, and more.

Uses hashtags, keywords, common search phrases, audio to help categorize content.

X (Twitter)

Prioritizes:

  • Content from people you follow and frequently engage with

  • Recency - discussing current topics and trends as they happen


Uses your actions and interests, your demographics, post data to recommend content from people you don't follow.

SimClusters group users into communities around particular topics, like soccer, news, etc., and you'll be shown tweets that are popular in the communities you're part of.

LinkedIn

Prioritizes:

  • Creators' posts who post and engage often

  • Quality content with clear copy, attractive visuals, and relevant messages

  • Creators who use a variety of content formats

  • Posts that share expert knowledge and advice, industry news and events, employee-focused content, achievements, and personal perspectives

  • Posts that include native documents and videos

  • Posts without outbound links

Pinterest

If Pins linking to a particular website are popular, Pinterest prioritizes more Pins linking to that website.

Recommends Pins based on engagement levels for that Pin and the Pinner's account.

Snapchat

Uses past actions and demographic information to recommend content in Spotlight and Discover.


 

Social Media Influencers You Should Know

There are SO many social media influencers, and this list is by no means extensive. The influencers selected here are some of the biggest power-players right now, and you're likely to see or hear about their content. There are many other influencers who might be driving trends and conversations in your specific niche or industry, so it's worth investigating influencers relevant to your business.


Top Social Media Influencers Right Now

  • Adam W: TikTok comedian

  • Alex Cooper: Host of podcast Call Her Daddy

  • Amelia Dimoldenberg: Host of celebrity interview show Chicken Shop Date

  • Alexandra and Andrea Botez: Twitch-streaming chess players

  • CodeMiko: A VTuber (someone who presents themselves online via an avatar) known for showing viewers the process of building an avatar and sometimes-controversial humor

  • Charli and Dixie D'Amelio: Two of TikTok's first and biggest influencers

  • Emma Chamberlain: Fashion it-girl who originally used her sense of humor to gain YouTube fame

  • Elliot Tebele: Known for his legendary Instagram meme account, f*ckjerry

  • Rhett & Link: YouTube comedians turned multi-channel media moguls

  • Druski: Comedian with lots of celebrity besties

  • Dylan Mulvaney: TikTok trans activist

  • Elsa Majimbo: Comedian known for her DGAF sense of humor and chip eating tendencies

  • Josh Richards: TikToker, entrepreneur, and co-host of Barstool's BFFs podcast

  • Kai Cenat: Top Twitch streamer who dabbles in pranks, video games, and just chatting

  • Khaby Lame: Known for his funny skits and silently reacting to weird TikTok hacks

  • La'Ron Hines: Shares cute, empowering, and hilarious interviews of kids at his family's daycare center

  • Jake Paul: Controversial YouTuber turned boxer

  • Logan Paul: Controversial YouTuber turned boxer and wrestler

  • MrBeast: King of YouTube known for his stunts and giving out money to strangers

  • Olajide Olatunji: YouTube comedian, rapper, and boxer

  • North West: Kim and Kanye's oldest child now shares a TikTok account with her mom, and she's using it to show the world she's a star all on her own

  • Olivia Dunne: Social-savvy LSU gymnast and it-girl

  • Tefi: Posts pop-culture commentary

  • Valkyrae: One of the most popular female gamers on Twitch

  • Zach King: Maker of video magic and creator of the most-viewed TikTok of all time

  • Ryan Kaji: Young Ryan's toy reviews led to a toy company and mega popular YouTube channel

  • Preston Arsement: Video game YouTuber

  • Huda Kattan: Makeup mogul

  • Seth McLoughlin: Video game YouTuber with a knack for selling shirts

  • Mark Edward Fischbach: YouTuber and podcast host

  • Brent Rivera: TikTok creator who often posts skits with his sister

  • Matt Rife: Stand-up comedian who shares clips from his sets on TikTok

  • Mikayla Nogueira: TikToker known for her makeup reviews and tutorials


Breakout Social Media Stars


 

Most Popular Emojis

The classics reign supreme. These are currently the most-used emojis.

  1. 😂

  2. 🤣

  3. ❤️

  4. 🙏

  5. 😭

  6. 😍

  7. 🔥

  8. 😊

  9. 🥰


 

Most Popular GIFs

GIF like the cool kids.




 

2024 Social Media Predictions

What should your business prepare to see on social media in 2024? Here are our predictions.


Authenticity will break through the noise. As TikTok especially becomes overrun with people seeking money and fame, users are growing tired of constantly being sold to, reminding us what social media is inherently all about: facilitating authentic connections. People will be especially grateful for content that isn’t gimmicky or salesy in 2024.


Videos will get longer. Take the old 15-second video rule with a grain of salt. TikTok is encouraging longer content and reports that “users are now spending half their time on the app watching content that’s longer than a minute.”


There will be a lot of conversation around politics and activism. 2024 is a presidential election year. Remember 2020? In case you’ve suppressed those memories, the social media discussions (arguments) surrounding the election were constant. Be prepared for customers to want to know where your business stands on particular issues, and strategize on how you’ll communicate your values and stay above the fray.


X (Twitter) will continue its descent into chaos. Speaking of elections, Twitter was the primary platform for political flame wars and disinformation the past two presidential elections. Now, under the new leadership of Elon Musk, the platform is even more unstable than it was in 2016 and 2020. Be especially wary of what you like, share, and consume on X over the coming months. Will this election help Threads grow in popularity?


AI this, AI that. The conversation around AI continues, as social media platforms and related tools experiment with AI features. In 2024, we’ll continue to suss out where AI is useful and where it’s not. We’ll also likely start to see policies (or at least informal guidelines) around the ethics of using AI.


Platforms will continue to try and grow social commerce. TikTok shop launched in 2024, but still hasn’t caught on the way the company hoped. Instagram still has shoppable posts but removed its Shop tab from the homepage bar in 2023. The reality is, shoppers are still making purchases through more trusted pathways. But social media companies want to make that money (shocker), so expect to see them invest more in social commerce in 2024.


 

And that's the lay of the land. Whether your business posts twice in 2024 or twice a day, you have a sense of how to make the most of your efforts. Social media is forever changing, so if you have any feedback on this content or predictions of your own, feel free to reach out.


Scenda is a social media agency that uses month-long programs to help businesses set up, brand, and optimize their channels. Along the way, we provide tools, templates, and training so that after finishing the program, businesses can manage accounts on their own. Visit scendasocial.com to learn about our services, and follow us on social media.


 

Sources:

Top Social Media Platforms in the U.S.

Top Platforms Worldwide

Fastest-Growing Platforms

New Platforms

What Each Platform is Best For

How Often to Post

Best Times to Post

How Each Platform's Algorithm Works

Social Media Influencers You Should Know

Most Popular Emojis

Most Popular GIFs

2024 Social Media Predictions

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