In the ever-evolving social media landscape, platforms can fade out of the spotlight almost as quickly as they emerged as the mainstream choice. Not even a decade passes before an app's fleetingness surfaces over dinner conversations with friends and rears its head in brief exchanges with strangers. "You're not on this? Everyone’s using it," becomes, "I haven't logged into my profile in so long, I don't even remember my password anymore," quicker than we can catch up. However, despite the impermanence of virality and popularity, some platforms leave an indelible mark on how we communicate and share our lives online.

From microblogging our innermost thoughts to networking with professionals from across the globe, the top social media apps have defined points in history and outlived the shiny new toy status. See our list of the best social platforms ranked below.

11. Myspace

Myspace was one of the first major social media platforms. It had one-of-a-kind quality, trailblazing the idea of connecting people online while allowing users to personalize their profiles with music and custom layouts. Although it is rare for someone to have an active Myspace account these days, the platform shaped the early 2000s social media and pop culture landscape, defining the blueprint of engaging content.

10. Snapchat

Snapchat introduced the concept of 24-hour content in 2011 with its disappearing messages and Stories. The app has maintained a fresh user base among younger generations. Teenagers value its streak feature, filters, and extensive celebrity presence. Despite sharing features with Instagram and TikTok, Snapchat embraces the idea that the internet isn’t forever with all its content, offering an original approach.

9. Tumblr

Tumblr, introduced in 2007, allows users to create blog posts showcasing multimedia content. It has nurtured a distinctive community celebrated for its vibrant creativity, artistic expression, and niche interests. Despite a decline in popularity, Tumblr remains a digital space for users seeking to cultivate a unique social media experience.

8. LinkedIn

LinkedIn has stood as the champ of professional networking online for more than a decade, and its emphasis on these relationships sets it apart within the realm of social media. While applying for a job was once a pen-and-paper process, the platform has become indispensable for anyone seeking to forge connections, exchange industry knowledge, or express interest in a role.

7. Facebook

Facebook, the first pillar of reigning social media parent company Meta, has been a staple since the early 2010s. Despite facing legal controversies surrounding its effect on mental health and a shifting user base, Facebook remains a central hub for connecting with loved ones, sharing life updates, and engaging with communities, especially among older generations.

6. Vine

Vine shut down in 2017, but its impact on social media is unforgettable. The app's six-second-or-less premise birthed a sleek generation of content creators lauded for their ability to prove likable in less than a minute. Many social media stars, music artists, and actors got their start on Vine. Its influence lives on as companies continue building apps centered around short-form video content.

5. Pinterest

Pinterest is a visual discovery and bookmarking tool that caters to creatives. Released in 2010, it allows users to find and save ideas for various projects and interests, from home decor and fashion to recipes and travel. Pinterest's focus on inspiration and diversity distinguishes it as a beloved platform for artistic curation and exploration.

4. X (Formerly Twitter)

X, formerly known as Twitter, revolutionized real-time communication. It allows users to share thought-bubble-esque posts, or “tweets,” and was a successful tool for sharing news and engaging in public discourse until Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk acquired it in 2022. The social media platform’s concise format is perfect for sending quick updates and diving into trending topics, making it a favorite for journalists, celebrities, and everyday users.

3. YouTube

YouTube is the go-to platform for video content. Since its inception in 2005, it has become the second most visited website globally, with over 33 billion visitors. YouTube offers unscaled content, from tutorials to music videos and vlogs. Many content creators and influencers gravitate to YouTube for its monetization options and ability to reach a global audience.

2. Instagram

Instagram remains a powerhouse in the social media world. Acquired by Meta in 2012, the once photo-only app has continually pushed to stay relevant in the face of its competitors, adding features like Stories and Reels to keep up with changing trends. Instagram's blend of personal and professional content makes it a versatile platform for users of all ages to connect with people, places, and things.

1. TikTok

TikTok has taken the world by storm with its engaging video content. Launched in 2016 by ByteDance, the platform has quickly become a global sensation, particularly among Gen Z. The app's algorithm tailors the content feed to user interests and location, which proves incredibly effective at getting people to spend hours engaging with it. It’s responsible for blurring the lines between influencer and celebrity, building an entirely new class of fame. TikTok's format encourages creativity and spontaneity, and it is the top social media platform today.