In 2017, it’s never been easier than now to stay in touch with your friends and family and keep up with your favorite celebrities with all of the social networking sites and apps available. However, with so many options, it can be hard to choose the best social media sites to use.
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How are we supposed to choose? Which ones are popular? What features do they offer? We’ll break it all down for you. We’re going to tell you about the best 12 social media apps and websites we recommend using in 2017. If you’re new to the world of social media, don’t worry – we’re going to cover the basics first! Before we talk about the sites and apps we recommend, what exactly is social media and why should you use it?
What is social media?
Social media is a website or app that allows people to share snippets of their lives, with text posts, pictures, or videos; it allows people to make connections and keep up with other people. These sites and apps use the Internet to share aspects of your life, and peek into the lives of others.
You should use social media if you want an easy way to stay in touch with your family and friends, keep up with the latest entertainment and sports news, and share bits from your own life to let your friends know what you’re up to. On some social media apps and sites, you can even follow people you don’t know personally, like celebrities, YouTube personalities, brands/stores, and more.
Now that we’ve given you a bit of an introduction to social media and why we think it’s great to use, let’s get into the twelve best social media apps and websites we recommend checking out in 2017!
Top 12 social networking sites and apps for 2017
Facebook is the most used social network that exists today. With over 2 billion monthly users, you’re less likely to know someone who doesn’t use Facebook than someone who does – how crazy is that! With Facebook, you can share text “statuses,” photos, and videos, and even check in at geographical locations. Add your friends and family members to keep up with their posts, join virtual groups with people who have shared interests, and follow your favorite stores and celebrities by “liking” their public pages.
Facebook also allows people to chat privately through Messenger, Facebook’s online instant messaging system. You can even use it to have voice and video calls! Instead of sending out invitations through your local postal service or by email, create an event and invite your friends on Facebook. Your friends can see all the details and RSVP to let you know if they’ll be able to come. Facebook is essentially an all-purpose social network, which is how it has become so popular. To learn more about this awesome site, head over to our Facebook course.
Instagram was made for mobile devices, and is entirely image-centered. On Instagram, you can share photos and videos with your followers, add text captions to tell a story or describe what’s going on in the images you’ve shared, or post about your day on your Instagram “story” to make it temporarily visible to your followers, and then disappear after 24 hours.
Use Instagram to take and edit photos and videos with cool filters and other great editing tools. Follow your friends and invite them to follow you to see each other’s posts in your Instagram timeline. Leave a “like” or comment on other people’s posts to let them know what you think! Send private text messages to other Instagram users with the Instagram Direct messaging feature. Check out our Instagram course to learn more.
Twitter is a unique social network that puts a limit on how much you can share at one time. A Twitter post, or “tweet,” can only be 280 characters or less. You can also share photos and videos on Twitter, but unlike Instagram, the main focus here is on text posts rather than images.
Twitter also has other cool features like the ability to start a poll and allow your followers to answer a question, send direct messages to people who follow you, and even broadcast live video to your followers. You can even get caught up on recent news stories with the “Moments” tab on Twitter. Learn how to use Twitter.com with our free course here.
Pinterest is a social network that allows people to share ideas, design projects, recipes, outfits, and more. Create your own virtual bulletin boards to “pin” your ideas to. You can have separate boards for each subject that interests you. This site is another image-based social media site, but also allows you to add as much or as little text along with the pictures you share.
On Pinterest, you can create your own pins, or just check out posts from others and save them to your own boards. Search for a certain keyword or phrase to discover new recipes, get inspiration for your home décor, plan your next party, or other fun things. We also have tutorials on how to use Pinterest, so if this sounds like the social media site for you, see our Pinterest tutorials.
Reddit allows people to have discussions on pretty much any topic they want. You can find forums, called “subreddits” on a wide variety of topics to discuss anything from politics to the best Netflix shows.
You can start your own category and wait for other people to reply with comments, or find subreddits on subjects that are of interest to you and take part in the discussion. Add links and images to your posts to spice them up! The site itself is fairly simple looking, but some of the conversations are incredibly interesting. To find out more about the site and how to use it, head over to our Reddit course.
Our next social media site is Google+. This one, as you can probably guess, is owned and created by Google. Google+ is kind of like Facebook and Pinterest, in that it allows users to find and connect with people who share interests with them. Discover things based around topics that you like, and save things you like into “collections” on Google+. If you have a Google account (like for Gmail or YouTube) you’re already all set to use Google+!
Another awesome mobile-based social app is Snapchat. Through Snapchat, you can send pictures, videos, and text messages that will automatically be deleted once your friend opens your message. You can set a time for your messages to expire after 10 seconds or less, or post things publicly to your “story” that your friends can check out for 24 hours after you post it.
Besides these features, you can also use Snapchat to make voice or video calls, use fun filters and geotags on your posts, find out about the weather, share your location, and more. Snapchat is a great app to use if you want to send messages and be social without the worry of potentially compromising your personal safety and privacy. We have Snapchat tutorials if you’d like to learn more about using the app!
While some may argue that YouTube isn’t a social media site, we’d say otherwise. Anyone can post a video on YouTube. You can talk about pretty much everything, though YouTube generally doesn’t allow anything too inappropriate or “adult” on the site. When you post a video, other people can watch it and leave comments and feedback to let you know what they think. The discussions that happen in the comment section of YouTube videos can be quite interesting to read and take part in.
YouTube even has a version of their mobile app that’s specifically designed for kids. Kids can enjoy a variety of content that’s appropriate for their age group on the YouTube Kids app. There’s truly something for everyone on YouTube, which is why it’s one of the most visited sites on the Internet with over 1 billion active users!
Tumblr is a site where people can create their own blogs, share photos and videos, write text posts, share links, and more. You can create your own pages and share whatever you like, follow your friends and family, and connect with other people who are interested in the same things as you. Search for topics that you want to see posts on, and re-blog other people’s posts to share them on your own page.
Similar to Pinterest, on Tumblr you can create one account and have multiple pages for different topics you’re interested in. You can even have one page that’s public and another one that’s private if you want to. You can share as much or as little about yourself as you want to – some people even remain anonymous on their Tumblr account – the options are endless.
Another popular social media app is WhatsApp. WhatsApp’s main function is to allow people to send each other instant messages for free, but it also has other awesome social features. With WhatsApp you can share pictures, videos, and fun stickers with your friends, and even make audio or video calls. This makes it easy for you to stay in touch with friends and family members without being charged long distance fees like you would when using your regular phone plan. As long as you’re connected to Wi-Fi, you don’t have to worry about WhatsApp using your mobile data.
You can automatically import contacts that are saved in your device, and the app will tell you which of your contacts are already using WhatsApp so you can easily add them, and you can invite any contacts not using WhatsApp to sign up for it as well. Create group chats with your WhatsApp contacts to have conversations with your coworkers, family, or groups of friends. To find out more about this awesome app, head over to our WhatsApp tutorials.
LinkedIn is a social network for working professionals and people looking to get into the workforce. If you are looking to promote yourself as a professional or if you own a business, LinkedIn is a great website to network and make connections to help you in your career. Your LinkedIn profile is like an online version of your resume – add your work experience and skills to show off your credentials.
Businesses can make profiles as well, to network with other people on LinkedIn and promote their products and services. Companies can even post job openings, and other users can quickly and easily apply for the jobs through LinkedIn. Join groups of people in your field or job fields you’re interested in to get helpful advice and information that may help you advance your career! Head over to our LinkedIn course for more information.
Similar to WhatsApp, WeChat is a communication app that also incorporates social media features. You can use the app to send instant messages, record and send audio messages, chat with your friends on a voice call, have a virtual face-to-face conversation on a video chat and more. There’s no limit on the number of messages you can send or minutes you can be on a call, so you can save money by not using up your phone plan!
You can use WeChat to talk to your friends and family members, and meet new people in your area through the “People Nearby” feature. You can even chat with users across the globe with WeChat’s “Shake” feature. Set up group chats to keep all your friends on the same page, and share pictures, videos and more to keep your contacts up to date with what’s going on in your life. Check out our WeChat course to learn more about the app and how to use it.
The twelve social media sites we’ve listed here are the most popular and absolute best social platforms people are using in 2017! If you haven’t tried them all, why not sign up for a new one and give it a test run? If you have a favorite social network you think we should have included, let us know in a comment!