The social media sites you need to know in 2021

In January 2021, there were over 3.8 billion active social media users across the globe, an increase of 9% versus 2020.

These growing numbers create plenty of opportunities to reach a massive number of engaged users, outside popular social networking sites like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.

As marketers, it is essential to monitor the growth of promising new social media channels, especially when marketing towards millennials. It makes apparent where your audience is spending their time and can help you decide where you need to dedicate your time.

Suppose you join a new social networking site early on; it will put you ahead of your competitors as you understand the type of content that works best on the platform before it explodes in popularity.


For the last few months, people have been clamouring to get access to Clubhouse. This buzzworthy, invitation-only app is best described as a hybrid of conference calls, talkback radio and Houseparty. You can log in and listen to conversations, interviews, and discussions between people on a wide variety of topics, including technology, reality tv, business or health.

Launching in March 2020, the app catapulted into the mainstream after Elon Musk hosted an audio-chat on Clubhouse.

The company is now valued at $1 billion dollars and has managed to fly under China’s firewall compared to Instagram and Facebook.


Could this possibly be the next Instagram? Many in the industry are thinking so.

Founded by YouTuber and social media personality David Dobrik, Dispo lets users create and share photos that evoke the nostalgia of a disposable camera. You wait for your images to “develop”, and the result is authentic photography, not the highly filtered and edited photos many have become accustomed to.


Signal is an encrypted messaging app that has taken off in popularity in the last few months. On the surface, this app looks precisely like WhatsApp, iMessage and Facebook Messenger; however, Signal features state-of-the-art end-to-end encryption, placing significant importance on privacy and security.

During the Black Lives Matter movement, protesters used Signal to keep their messages from law officials who could monitor correspondence and location.


Spotify stands out from other streaming music services thanks to it’s AI and data sifting technology. The popularity of Spotify isn’t because of its expansive library; it is because of the focus on discovery and curation. The service leverages personal mobile app data for personalising the user experience of listening to and discovering new music. 

Each December, this all comes together when Spotify releases their annual Wrapped, showing each user their favourite genres, bands, songs, and total minutes listened in the year. Shared heavily on social media, their users essentially become unpaid brand ambassadors for Spotify.

Tik Tok

tik tok

Believe what you read about TikTok’s popularity, it is one of the fastest-growing social media networks, with 800 million active users monthly, and is only expected to rise further in 2021.

With 41% of users aged between 16 and 24 years old, TikTok is the perfect platform to talk to Generation Z. 

Dance sensation Charli D’Amelio is the most followed person with over 104 million followers, and Zach King’s Harry Potter illusion is the most viewed video, with over 2.2 billion views.



Pinterest is a visual discovery engine for finding ideas like recipes, home and style inspiration, and more. You can organise your pins with “Boards”.

You can name your boards and arrange them on your profile. You can also invite other people on Pinterest to collaborate on Group boards.

If Pinterest for your business is not part of your marketing strategy in 2021, it should be. 

In 2020, Pinterest reached a record high of 400 million active users thanks to an increase in usage from Generation Z, millennials and men, proving it is a robust platform you can use to set yourself apart from your competitors.


twitter social networking site

Twitter is a micro-blogging and social networking site where users post and interact with messages known as “tweets”. Tweets were initially only allowed to be 140 characters but doubled to 280 for non-Asian languages in November 2017.

While there were concerns over the site’s slowing growth, Twitter was the fourth most-visited website in terms of traffic in October 2020, with 6.1 billion visits and had over 353 million active users.

Whats App

whats app

WhatsApp lets you send messages, pictures, videos and voice recordings over the internet, rather than your mobile network.

It is perfect for iPhone users communicating with Android users, and vice versa.

In 2020 WhatsApp announced they have 2 billion active monthly users and deliver roughly 100 billion messages a day, making it the king of the mobile messaging apps.



Telegram is a cloud-based instant messaging and voice over IP application. With Telegram, users can send messages and exchange photos, videos, stickers, audio and files of any type.

Messages can also be sent with client-to-client encryption in so-called secret chats.Telegram has 400 million monthly active users and revealed in April 2020 that it was logging 1.5 million new users daily. The company has a target to reach 1 billion users before the end of 2022.

Next Door

nextdoor social networking site

Nextdoor tout themselves as “the best way to stay informed about what’s going on in your neighbourhood – whether it’s finding a last-minute babysitter, planning a local event, or sharing safety tips.”

Users need to sign-up with their real name and address and have their identity verified for privacy reasons.It is available in 11 countries, 265,000 neighbourhoods globally, with over 50 million local businesses recommendations from neighbours globally.


reddit social networking site

Reddit defines themselves as “the front page of the internet”. To be honest, they’re pretty spot on! Simply put, Reddit is a collection of forums where users share news, content, videos or comment on other people’s posts. 

The site is divided into more than a million communities known as “subreddits,” each of which covers a different topic. A subreddit’s name begins with /r/, which is part of the URL that Reddit uses. For example, /r/funnyanimals. The homepage displays various posts that are currently trending on the site, pulled from different subreddits.

In December 2020, for the first time, Reddit announced their daily active user count, revealing 52 million daily users which was a massive 44% year-on-year increase. Over 1.4 billion videos are uploaded to the site every month, and the average user spends 10 minutes 23 seconds on the site.

Sound Cloud


SoundCloud is the world’s largest music and audio platform where users can discover and enjoy music from the largest creator community on earth. 

The platform has built its reputation through unearthing breakthrough tracks, raw demos, podcasts with Post Malone, 21 Savage, Chance the Rapper and Migos all discovered through SoundCloud.

There are 76 million registered users and 175 million unique monthly listeners.

Deviant Art


DeviantArt is a social networking site for artists where art and community thrive. Users can post their art and discover other artists. The site lets you search by visual art, video or literature.

There are over 61 million registered members and 45 million unique visitors per month.



Quora is a website where you can ask a question and have it answered by other users.

The website has different ways to recommend questions to users: Home feed question recommendations, daily digest, related questions, and requested answers.

The go-to question and answer website has over 300 million monthly active users at the beginning of 2020, with 57% of the site’s audience male and 34.9% of the traffic from the United States.


meetup social networking site

Meetup lets users organise events, and find events that are nearby to their location. The website is also popularly used to find friends, share a hobby, or for professional networking.

There are various categories, including outdoors and adventure, photography, culture, music, and more.

In January 2020, Meetup had approximately 35 million users; however, this number is expected to have declined due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Known as an alternative to TikTok, Triller is an “AI-powered” video-editing app that allows users to film multiple takes of themselves and with artificial intelligence; the app will automatically compile together the best clips to create a music video.

With 65 million users and growing, the app takes privacy extremely secretly and doesn’t include ads. Instead, they allow the talent to publically raise money from fans, advertisers and partnerships with music labels. 


BAND is a social network that provides a free and secure space for groups to communicate better, eliminating long email threads, after-hours phone calls and texts, in just one group post.

Common groups who use the platform include sports teams, friends, family, interest groups and workplaces. 

What social networking sites have we missed? We would love to hear from you in the comments below!

The social media sites you need to know in 2021