Since the appearance of the first networking platforms in the 2000s, social networks have continued to increase their impact on our society. With 4.48 billion active users worldwide, more than one in two human beings will use social networks on a daily basis in 2021. However, certain questions are increasingly being asked among the population vis-à-vis see the positive effects and the impact they have on society. Thus, through this article, we will focus on the different facets of social networks, whether by evoking the major advantages they have brought, but also the negative effects they have brought.
What is a social network?
By definition, social networks are online platforms that allow users to create and share content, and communicate with other users. Accessible via a mobile application or a website, social networks have exploded in popularity over the past two decades, becoming a tool used by the vast majority of the world’s population. 🌐
With the democratization of the phenomenon, the various social media have specialized in very distinct fields in order to best meet the needs of their users. We can thus distinguish 4 types of social networks:
What are the main social networks?
Currently, there are hundreds and hundreds of social networks in the world. Some are country-specific, as is the case with the French social network Yubo , while others have managed to export internationally and become giants of the digital ecosystem. 📱
Excluding messaging platforms and social networks only popular in certain countries, here are the 10 social networks that gather the most users around the world according to the report of the Data Reportal institute :
Facebook : the networking network has more than 2.91 billion monthly users
YouTube : the number 1 video sharing platform has nearly 2.30 billion monthly users
Instagram : the first photo-sharing social network has more than 2 billion active users each month
TikTok : the interactive network for young people brings together more than 730 million users each month
Snapchat : the ephemeral photo and video sharing network registers nearly 530 million monthly users
Pinterest : the image sharing and saving network has nearly 460 million monthly users
Reddit : the social debate network has more than 430 million users each month
Twitter : the social network for networking and debate registers nearly 400 million monthly users
Linkedin : the networking network for professionals brings together 310 million active users each month
Twitch : the live streaming platform has more than 140 million monthly users
Why are social networks so popular?
The popularity of social networks can be explained in many ways. First of all, it is obvious that their design—designed so that the user spends as much time as possible on them through mechanisms such as the infinite news feed or the system of likes and comments— is a major factor in the virality of certain platforms such as TikTok or Instagram. 👍
But social networks are above all appreciated for their ability to connect people to each other, whether they are geographically separated, or they can no longer see each other as was the case during the various confinements.
Nowadays, social networks are a true social phenomenon, becoming an extension of an individual’s identity. In the same way as the identity card, the passport, the driving license or any other official paper, the social networks act as a digital identity. This is how for the new generations, not having a presence on social networks is almost equivalent to not existing.