The Biggest Social Networks In The World

How well do you know your social networks? It’s great pub quiz question – ‘Name the ten biggest social media networks in the world‘. I doubt many would get the answer correct.

We’ve scrambled together some stats and data from all over the internet to bring you the answer, and as a special treat we’ve visualised all the information in a lovely infographic. The results are based on active users.

For an interactive version, please have a look on

Amazingly, five out of the top ten social networks are from China. QQ and Qzone are owned by Tencent, China’s largest internet portal. RenRen, much like the social blogging platform Qzone, has similar functionality to Facebook. Youku Tudou is China’s online video giant, and Sina Weibo is China’s most popular microblogging platform, with around 46 million active users.

If the individual user numbers blow your mind, consider the partnerships that are forming as China looks to grab more users from the West. Last month Youku Tudou and Sina Weibo agreed a partnership that sees the latter gain access to Youku Tudou’s video library, and both will cross promote each other. Sina Weibo has also opened up Facebook access in Hong Kong and Taiwan, allowing users to¬†cross-post status updates and audiovisual content to Facebook via its new Graph API.

Let’s not forget that Facebook, Twitter and many other services are banned in China. If Chinese laws are relaxed in the future, it would be interesting to see how many ‘active’ users Facebook could grab from QQ, Qzone and RenRen.

Pinterest continues to grow, with 20 million active users, but hot on their tail is the rapidly growing We Heart It, who have also quietly amassed 20 million active users. We Heart It is a photo-based social network that is reminiscent of a Tumblr/Pinterest combination. Speaking of which, Tumblr’s active users have been in free fall, with sources estimating they are now around the 30 million mark.

Instagram still continues to grow too, and is currently the world’s biggest mobile social network with 130 million active users. If it’s desktop platform UI continues to develop, Instagram could well make the top ten list in 12 months time.

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