What Makes a Social Media Site/App Great?

Dylan Westrick


For this blog, I researched about different types of social media and which ones are used the most worldwide. I was somewhat surprised when I saw apps/platforms that topped the list. According to Statista, Facebook and YouTube sit atop the list for monthly users (in Jan. 2018.) But others in the top 10 sat even higher than Snapchat and Twitter which was the most surprising. WhatsApp, WeChat, Instagram and Tumblr all were ranked higher than 2 I thought for sure would be in the top 5. (Statista) Having Facebook at the top is something that isn’t surprising though. It seems to be one of the more user-friendly social media website/application and is more popular among the older generations. But as the years progress I can see Facebook going more in a downward spiral since college and high school kids see it as a “less cool” type of social media. With that being said social media outlets have become very innovative and shown the ability to adapt and change things about their apps and sites to be better. In my opinion, I think that apps like Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram will continue to grow and eventually be in the top 5 because of their ability to constantly evolve and give their users what they want in the app.

According to Forbes, there are four things that make a social media site successful. Those 4 things are the “right place to start,” expansion, sharing, and value and trust. (Taulli 1) For the right place to start, I believe that just means having smart people that are intelligent on the topic or site they want to create. Expansion is the ability to adapt to changes over the course of time. Value and trust are exactly what they literally mean, if you believe and trust the company is doing the right things to enhance your user experience the more likely you are to use the site repeatedly and recommend it to your family and friends. Sharing I believe is the most important aspect of a successful site. The whole point of a social media site is to show family and friends what you are doing with your life so if the site shows an inability to share what you want to share at a high level it is essentially unusable because there are other sites that already have proven their site/app is capable.

Taulli, Tom. “Four Keys to Building a Successful Social Network.” Forbes, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2012, https://www.forbes.com/sites/tomtaulli/2012/02/22/four-keys-to-building-a-successful-social-network/#561614172adc. Accessed 17 Mar. 2018.

Statista, Statista, 31 Jan. 2018, https://www.statista.com/statistics/272014/global-social-networks-ranked-by-number-of-users/. Accessed 14 Mar. 2018.

This Article Has 7 Comments
  1. Marisa Biggins says:

    Dylan great post. I would had agree with you prior to myself having WeChat and WhatsApp but now that I have both apps I can see why they surpass Twitter and Snapchat. This past summer a group of us MBA students went to China and used WeChat to communicate with one another. WeChat is used by over 2 billion people and the app is like a 10 in 1 super app that combines payment, online service ordering, video chat, etc. I would be interested to see what app in the future surpasses WeChat.

  2. Aaron De Ocampo says:

    Dylan, it makes sense that Facebook and Youtube would be at the top of the list when it comes to what is most used. There is a wide range of things that can be done on Facebook and endless ways to interact and communicate. When I got to college, I thought I would abandon my Facebook account but now I found that I use it to communicate and to stay informed about events. Youtube is another platform that I can easily agree is something many people use. All the famous Youtube filmmakers receive thousands of views on their videos. Video is a great way to communicate to your audience.

  3. Kristle says:

    Thanks for highlighting what makes a “top social media app,” Dylan! I figured that Snapchat and Twitter would not be top apps internationally, but I was surprised to see that Line is not on this list. Line is a popular app used in Asian countries, and it is widely used in America by people who want to keep in touch with their friends and families overseas.

    I’m also very interested in the idea of trust being a factor in this. Edelman presents their annual trust barometer that measures trust with , and it sounds like the same goes for social media apps.

  4. Jerome Pizzelli says:

    Reading the list of top social media account it wasn’t surprising Facebook was near the top. I also agree with you that it will at this rate drop farther down the list of popularity. It’s interesting to see what Facebook will do. Would they restructure their layout? Adopt a new approach to their feed? It’s all great questions that need to be asked if Facebook is gonna move past their current demographic and grow to be able to include the younger demographics.

  5. Keeley O'Dougherty says:

    I think that the reason Facebook sustains popularity is that it is trustworthy. As one of the first major social media, a lot of people who wouldn’t usually gravitate towards social media took time to understand how to use it. Many people who only have facebook to share info with friends and family aren’t looking to create any new accounts on different platforms so I think Facebook will be consistently popular, even if new forms of social media take the number one spot.

  6. Morgan Wilkes says:

    Great post Dylan! I think we are often too US-centric when we think about app users. For example, WhatsApp. It’s user base is much more global. While Facebook may be viewed as “less cool” there is something extremely important about its integration of all types of media (the liking capability of things like Instagram and Twitter, the communication ability of Snapchat, etc.) Social media is one of those things that is hard to predict, and I think this list just affirmed it.

  7. Claudia Davis says:

    Social media is a huge part of what keeps the world up to date and connected. I am a frequent user of Youtube, however, not so much Facebook. It is mostly the generations above us who are the most prominent users now. It makes sense that Snapchat is at the bottom of the list because mostly new generations are the ones using it, rather than all. Especially after the update, a lot of millennials are using it less!

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