What are the Different Types of Social Media Platforms?

types of social media platforms

Seeing the growing popularity of Social Media Channels, marketers and businesses look for different types of social media platforms to target and convert their audiences. Advertising and marketing on social media are effective and economical and help you to connect with a broader audience. But how will you decide which one is the best for you and your company? 

Today, we will help you decide on the best social media network. We are taking a deep dive into six types of social media. Additionally, we will share some examples and benefits for each one of them. Get ready to help you set your social media strategy up for success!

So keep reading!

What is a Social Media Platform?

Social media platforms are online platforms and tools that let people create, share, and exchange content and information with others. The different types of social media platforms include Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter, among others. They have now become an essential part of social media marketing. They allow businesses to build brand awareness, connect with their target audiences, and drive conversions and engagement.

According to DataReportal, internet users between 16 and 64 worldwide spent an average of 2 hours and 31 minutes on social media platforms as of late 2022. Further, they added that “social media now accounts for its greatest ever share of total online time, with almost four in every 10 minutes spent online now attributable to social media activities.” 

Social media marketing is a crucial part of digital marketing measures. But how can businesses use social media platforms? Below are some of the key factors that will help you gain detailed knowledge.

  • Build brand awareness 
  • Promotes services and products 
  • Attracts potential customers
  • Get marketing insights through social media reports and analytics 
  • Share engaging and relevant content
  • Increase ROI through marketing and advertising
  • Address concerns and respond to customers’ feedback to build relationship 
  • Increase traffic to the website

What are the Different Types of Social Media Platforms?

To help you understand the social landscape, we have enlisted a wide multiplicity of platforms into seven general categories. We break down particular use cases and what businesses can achieve using them. If you are ready to find the ideal fit for your business, keep on reading!

Here is a quick overview of the 6 types of social media platforms:

  1. Traditional social networking sites
  2. Image-based social media
  3. Video sharing sites
  4. Discussion forums
  5. Private community platforms
  6. Disappearing content apps 

Now, let us briefly know about all the types of social media platforms!

Traditional Social Networking Sites

  • Overview: Traditional social networking sites allow users to connect with each other through an online shared space. People can comment, like, and share the posts, as well as follow other businesses and users. 
  • Examples: Facebook, Twitter (X), LinkedIn, Threads 
  • Used For: Connecting directly with audiences in particular areas, interest groups, or communities.
  • How Businesses Can Use Them: Traditional social networking sites are an excellent way to strengthen your voice and connect with your target audience. These platforms are flexibly designed to help you share both visual and text content with anyone you like. They share features like advertising, networking, and event organizing.

Image-based Social Media

  • Overview: In the types of social media platforms, the next one is image-based social media. Studies have shown that image or photo-sharing social media receives more engagement than written content. Contents like illustrations, infographics, and images capture the attention of users more. Social media apps like Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat are specially designed to boost the sharing of image-based content.
  • Examples: Snapchat, Instagram, TikTok (image-based), Pinterest 
  • Used For: Social commerce, visual storytelling, and brand building 
  • How Businesses Can Use Them: Almost every image-based social media type is perfect for social commerce. They provide numerous ways to shop in-app. Also, they eradicate the need to drive traffic to an external site.

Video Sharing Sites

  • Overview: According to half of the social media users, they prefer video to any different kind of content. Much like photo or image-based social sites, video-sharing sites like TikTok and YouTube, among many others, are attracting their visitors via visual graphics.
  • Examples: YouTube, Instagram Reels, Vimeo
  • Used For: Allows companies and people for uploading or live-streaming videos 
  • How Businesses Can Use Them: Your business can use video to demonstrate how your services or product works. You can also share success stories or customer testimonials for the audience to know more about your business. Creating helpful guides and tutorials that are related to your industry will benefit you. 

Discussion Forums

  • Overview: Discussion forums are generally online platforms where users can ask questions, give answers, and begin discussions on different topics. For example, Reddit has communities, called subreddits, that are for every topic, ranging from jokes to cryptocurrency.
  • Examples: Quora, Reddit, and Stack Overflow 
  • Used For: Asking questions and answering them, networking, and making communities around interest and niche-based topics. 
  • How Businesses Can Use Them: Discussion forums add value to your customers. You can lend your subject matter professionalism and answer questions related to your particular industry. Through discussion forums, you can listen to their problems and provide them with useful solutions.

Private Community Platforms

  • Overview: Private community platforms are platforms closed to the outside world. All the content and discussions shared in this community are only visible to its members. Private community platforms have stricter requirements about who can join their public communities.
  • Examples: Facebook groups, Slack, Discord, Patreon
  • Used For: Forming communities, with the possibility of requiring registration or any other screening measures for new users.
  • How Businesses Can Use Them: Private community platforms help to bring community members together. The members can bond over shared challenges. Also, they can answer each other’s questions and clear doubts.

Disappearing Content Apps 

  • Overview: Last but not least, the types of social media platforms are disappearing content apps. These apps are also known as ephemeral content. Disappearing content only exists for a shorter period of time before it is no longer available or expires.
  • Examples: Facebook stories, Snapchat, Instagram stories
  • Used For: Disappearing content is an excellent way to create excitement and urgency in marketing campaigns. It is used to help connect with the younger audiences who get attracted to these types of social media platforms.
  • How Businesses Can Use Them: It help to promote time-sensitive discounts and sales. Also, it can encourage your audience to share their disappearing content. Additionally, you can make some behind-the-scenes to give your clients a sneak peek into your brand.


With different types of social media platforms, you can capture more leads and expand your reach. Every type serves multiple needs and social objectives. Making the most of these platforms can enable businesses not only to achieve their business goals but reach their desired audience. Make sure to try all the five types of social media forms and find out which is ideal for your business.


What is the #1 most used social media platform?

Facebook is the world’s most widely used and most popular social media platform.

What are the six types of social media?

The six types of social media are Social bookmarking, online forums, social networking, microblogging, social news, and media sharing.

What are the 10 types of social media users?

The 10 types of social media users are Listener, Activist, Spammer, Passionista, Social Butterfly, Troll, Influencer, Early Adopter, Black Booker, and Family Person.

What are the three types of social media sites?

The three types of social media sites are Social networking, Image-based, and video sharing are some of the social media sites.

Also Read About: What is Social Media Marketing?

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