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Most Popular Social Media Platforms 1997 – 2020


In this data visualization video I look at the most popular social media networks based on active accounts during that time. I also did not include streaming video platforms such as YouTube and Twitch, I will post those in a different video.



These stats come from Wikipedia, archive.org and from Google Books searches. I did not include those platforms that did not report stats.I also reduced the numbers to take into account fake and duplicate accounts. Some of the data includes approximate numbers as the data available skipped years.


In the video I included screenshots of certain platforms from the list as they looked during that particular year. The platform thumbnails:


1997 – Bolt
Founded as a community for teens

1998 – Classmates
Biggest collection of yearbooks online

1999 – Open Diary
Introduced commenting and privacy settings

2000 – theGlobe

2001 – PlanetAll
Bought and killed by Amazon

2002 – LiveJournal
Still Popular in Russia for Microblogging

2003 – MySpace

2004 – Orkut
From Google, became popular in Brazil

2007 – Hi5
As popular as MySpace

2008 – VKontakte
Russian clone of Facebook

2009 – Facebook
Infamous update of news feed

2010 – Tagged
Originally a social network for teens

2011 – Tumblr

2012 – QZone
Social network from China

2013 – OK.ru
Russian social network

2014 – Reddit

2015 – Vine
Short looping video clips

2016 – Snapchat

2017 – WeChat
Reaches 1 million mini apps

2018 – TikTok

2019 – Facebook
Testing redesign

Thank you for watching. Let me know which platforms have been your favorite?

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