The Best Social Media Apps of 2021

Best Social Media Apps BadgeWhen it comes to social media apps, our top pick is Facebook. It's one of the most popular social media networks and widely used across age groups and other demographics. If Facebook isn't a good fit for your social style or you want to branch out beyond just one app, we have nine other options for you to try.

Top 10 Social Media Apps to Try

How We Chose the Best Social Media Apps

As we were researching and vetting social media apps for this list, we looked at a few key features. The ability to chat or do video calls with other members was a key component, as was the ability to share live videos with your followers. We also looked to see if the app has multi-language support to ensure it was inclusive to everyone. Most of the social media apps on this list are free, but you may be able to pay for access to premium content or buy badges, filters, and other extras through in-app purchases.

Choose the social media app that’s right for you

When you’re deciding which social media app is right for you, you want to consider what your goals are for using it. If you just want to connect with friends and family members virtually, an app like Facebook or Instagram has more than enough to satisfy this need. If you’re an influencer or a business owner who wants to grow your brand or reach out to complete strangers, an app like Twitter gives you a bigger audience. You’ll also want to decide if you’re going to be mainly posting in text, images, or videos, as each app handles these a bit differently.

Protecting your privacy

Any time you’re using a social media app, privacy is important. Most apps have specific security and privacy settings you can customize to choose who can see what you post or find you on the app. If you need to maintain a professional demeanor online or have small children you want to protect, making use of the strictest privacy settings on the apps you choose — and choosing an app that has good privacy settings in the first place — is of critical importance.

Our Social Media App Reviews

Facebook — Top Pick

Facebook feature

Download: Android | iOS

Facebook is thought of as one of the original social media apps and was first limited to college students as a type of virtual yearbook. Over the years, the app has expanded and is now a full social media app, complete with its own messaging and video calling system, the ability to do live video sharing, and even a social marketplace for buying and selling goods. Facebook has a relatively easy-to-use platform, and it’s simple to find and add friends, which makes it a good choice for beginners. It also has a lot of detailed privacy settings you can customize.

  • Free version available
  • In-app purchases: $0.99 – $399.99 per item
  • Support available: Help center
Facebook Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Full suite of features Relatively heavy advertising
In-app marketplace  

Instagram — Best for Photography

Instagram feature

Download: Android | iOS

Instagram started as a social media platform that mainly focused on sharing pictures, but it’s evolved to include videos and live streaming. Instagram is a great way for businesses to expand their audience reach using hashtags, which are a way to categorize your posts, and the reel feature also helps your brand stand out. Instagram makes it easy to ask your followers questions, take polls, and respond to followers in real-time. Instagram is owned by the same people who run Facebook, so some features, such as messaging, connect and overlap.

  • Free version available
  • In-app purchases: $0.99 – $4.99 per item
  • Support available: Help center
Instagram Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Focused on videos No marketplace 
Lots of post creation options  

Twitter — Best Free Version

Twitter feature

Download: Android | iOS

Twitter originally branded its social media app as focused on short, succinct text-based posts. The original character limit was just 140, but that’s been expanded to 280 for text, and image and video linking are now supported as well. Twitter is completely free, and there are no in-app purchase options because you don’t need them. All content and features are provided in the full version for no cost.

  • Free platform, no in-app purchases available
  • Support available: Help center
Twitter Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Completely free Limited text posts
Easy way to follow companies  

LinkedIn — Best for Professional Networking

LinkedIn feature

Download: Android | iOS

If your main goal with social media is to connect with colleagues or engage in professional networking, LinkedIn is by far the best choice. It’s also a great option for those who want to improve their professional reputation or need to maintain a certain public image. LinkedIn lets you connect with those you work with, and those they work with, to build your social networking circle. You can author and publish posts about industry issues and trends to help establish a professional platform. The site also features job listings and is often used by recruiters to find potential new hires at top companies. While LinkedIn is available for free, you can also upgrade to a premium version with additional features for a monthly fee.

  • Free version available
  • In-app purchases: $29.99 – $59.99 per item
  • Support available: Help center
LinkedIn Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Ability to create professional posts Some main features require a paid version
Lots of job postings  
Access to recruiters  

Pinterest — Best for Creatives

Pinterest feature

Download: Android | iOS

Pinterest is a social media platform that started as a digital corkboard of sorts where users could “pin” ideas. It began with mostly crafts, recipes, and home design ideas but has expanded to cover pretty much every subject out there. You can also post short tutorial style videos, and it’s a great way for businesses to generate more traffic to blogs and websites if they can post content that targets the right audience. Pinterest also lets you connect with and follow people you know or are interested in, such as interior designers or public figures, and you can message within the app.

  • Free platform, no in-app purchases available
  • Support available: Help center
Pinterest Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Huge library of ideas Not as much engagement between members
Digital inspiration board  

Snapchat — Best for Privacy

Snapchat feature

Download: Android | iOS

The Snapchat social media app sets itself apart from others by automatically deleting content that was sent in messages after it’s been read. Some updates to the app now let you choose not to delete the messages or change the timeframe for deletion — deleting every 24 hours, for example, instead of right after they’ve been read. It can be a little hard to follow the thread of the conversation when messages are constantly being deleted, but this is a huge plus for those who value privacy and don’t want messages recorded. The app will also alert you if someone takes a screenshot of the conversation.

  • Free version available
  • In-app purchases: $0.99 – $399.99 per item
  • Support available: Help center
Snapchat Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Automatic message deletion Mostly younger demographic
Good privacy settings  

YouTube — Best for Educational Content

YouTube feature

Download: Android | iOS

YouTube was the original social media site for video content, and while you can still reach followers and share life updates this way, much of YouTube has been changed into a library of educational/self-help videos and tutorials. Episodes of popular shows can also be found on YouTube, and the service has a subscription option ($11.99 per month) that gives you a viewing library similar to cable TV, competing with some of the more popular streaming apps.

  • Free version available
  • In-app purchases: $11.99 per item
  • Support available: Help center
YouTube Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Large library of video content Not as much member-to-member engagement
Ability to monetize content  

TikTok — Best for Videos

TikTok feature

Download: Android | iOS

TikTok is a social media app based around video content, with most videos being 30 seconds or less and set to popular music. The app usually has trends going where multiple users will try the same challenge or post similar content, such as the popular TikTok dances. TikTok has in-app direct messaging, supports live video, and has content across all interests.

  • Free version available
  • In-app purchases: $0.99 – $99.99 per item
  • Support available: Help center
TikTok Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Wide audience reach A lot of 18+ content
In-app video editing  

Tumblr — Best for Artists

Tumblr feature

Download: Android | iOS

Tumblr is designed around helping artists, budding or established, get their artwork out there to more people and establish a professional presence. It can be especially helpful for up-and-coming artists building a digital portfolio and reaching prospective clients for commissions. You can also connect with like-minded members, and the hashtag system makes it easy to get inspiration from other artists.

  • Free version available
  • In-app purchases: $9 – $49 per item 
  • Support available: Help center
Tumblr Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Video and photo editing tools Mainly photo-based
GIF creation feature  

Reddit — Best for Specific Interests

Reddit feature

Download: Android | iOS

Reddit is a social media app that functions along the lines of a forum. Posts can be classified according to topics under threads and subthreads, and other members can reply directly to that post or to the poster personally through the direct messaging feature. No matter what your interests are, there’s probably a subcategory for it already, which makes it easy to connect with other like-minded members. It’s also a great app for just scrolling through when you need advice on DIY home repairs or a company with iffy online reviews. The free version lets you access all content, but if you want to use the platform without ads, you’ll need to upgrade to Reddit Premium. This does bring with it the added bonus of 700 Coins — the fake digital currency this app uses — and a special lounge community open only to paid subscribers.

  • Free version available
  • In-app purchases: $0.99 – $399.99 per item
  • Support available: Help center, mobile help community
Reddit Pros & Cons
What we like What we don’t like
Incredible selection of niche interest subthreads No multi-language support
Easy to stay anonymous  

Social Media Apps: Features Summary Table

Social Media Apps Comparison Table
App In-App Purchases Features
Facebook — Top Pick $0.99 – $399.99 per item ✓ In-App Calling/Chat
✓ Live Video
✓ Multi-Language Support
Instagram — Best for Photography $0.99 – $4.99 per item ✓ In-App Calling/Chat
✓ Live Video
✓ Multi-Language Support
Twitter — Best Free Version None available ✓ In-App Calling/Chat
✓ Live Video
✓ Multi-Language Support
LinkedIn — Best for Professional Networking $29.99 – $59.99 per item ✓ In-App Calling/Chat
✓ Live Video
✓ Multi-Language Support
Pinterest — Best for Creatives None available ✓ In-App Calling/Chat
✓ Live Video
✓ Multi-Language Support
Snapchat — Best for Privacy $0.99 – $399.99 per item ✓ In-App Calling/Chat
✓ Live Video
✓ Multi-Language Support
YouTube  — Best for Educational Content $11.99 per item ✓ In-App Calling/Chat
✓ Live Video
✓ Multi-Language Support
TikTok — Best for Videos $0.99 – $99.99 per item ✓ In-App Calling/Chat
✓ Live Video
✓ Multi-Language Support
Tumblr — Best for Artists $9- $49 per item ✓ In-App Calling/Chat
✓ Live Video
✓ Multi-Language Support
Reddit — Best for Specific Interests $0.99 – $399.99 per item ✓ In-App Calling/Chat
✓ Live Video
X Multi-Language Support