Over the past 10 years, some of the top social networking sites have become incredibly popular. It is not just kids and teenagers who are on these sites. Many people can follow their parents and even their grandparents on the top free social networking sites. Millions and millions of people around the world are on the top 10 social networking sites.

Top Ten Social Networking Sites

#1 Facebook

Facebook is the top social networking site of all time. This site allows you to upload photos, update your status, message friends, and post messages on their page. Facebook, originally called, The Facebook, was invented by a student who attended Harvard University. The site took off immediately and continued to grow from there. In the beginning, Facebook was only open to college students. It started at Harvard, and soon, its creator Mark Zuckerberg began opening it up to surrounding colleges. Soon, the social networking site was open up to non-college students and people all over the world.

Many businesses use Facebook to get their name out there. There are companies out there who offer Facebook services to companies. They will make a Facebook page, and post regularly as a form of advertising. When Facebook was first created, there was a great deal of drama. Two Harvard University students accused the creator, Mark Zuckerberg, of stealing their idea. In court, Zuckerberg settled for an undisclosed amount. There were two cases against Zuckerberg in the courtroom simultaneously. The CFO and co-founder also took Zuckerberg to court after being ousted from the company. That case was also settled for an undisclosed amount. Facebook is so famous, that a major motion picture about how Facebook first started.

#2 Twitter

Twitter is a social networking site which allows users to send and read messages called “tweets.” These tweets are short, only 140 characters long. Twitter was created in March 2006 and launched in July 2006. In 2013, Twitter was one of the top 10 most visited sites. Currently, Twitter has over 500 million users. Many celebrities use Twitter so that their fans can keep up with their daily lives. Twitter is responsible for making the hashtag (#) one of the most widely used symbols. Before Twitter, the hashtag was used as the pound key on the telephone and as a symbol for the word number.

#3 Linkedin

Linkedin is one of the top social networking sites for professionals. It was founded in December 2002 and launched on May 5, 2003. This site is one of the top social networking sites in 2013, with 259 million users in more than 200 countries in 2013. The site is also available in 20 different languages. Linkedin allows users to create profiles in order to create real-world professional relationships with coworkers, employers, and other professionals in your field. Users of this site can find jobs and business opportunities through people who they are networking with. Job seekers often use this site to review profiles of hiring managers, to better prepare for interviews. When using Linkedin, you can bookmark jobs that you want to apply for, like and congratulate other users’ updates, and you can see who visited your profile page.

#4 Pinterest

Pinterest is one of the top social networking sites to display your creativity and ideas. This site allows users to select an item, page, website, etc, and pin it to their board. It is a tool used for collection, storage, and sharing. The items you save on your page are called “pins”. There are many websites which offer information and have a “pin it” button. By simply clicking the button, the information will be automatically uploaded to your board. Pinterest users can follow each other so that you can see what their friends and family are pinning. Pinterest is a great outlet to show off your interests and creativity. You can also like your Pinterest page on your Facebook and Twitter accounts. Over the past few years, Pinterest has become one of the top 5 social networking sites. As of February 2013, Pinterest had 48.7 million users, and that number has grown extensively since then.

#5 Google +

Google +, owned by Google Inc., is a social networking and identity site. It is the fifth largest social networking site with 540 users all around the world. Google + allows you to create a profile page, containing a profile picture, background picture, your interests, work history, and school history. You can also post status updates and see other people’s status updates. In order to be able to do this, you would need to be part of your “circle”. In November 2011, Google + profiles have become the background for other Google services, such as Gmail, Google Play, Google Maps, Google Voice, Google Music, Google Wallet, and Android. Google + also has a +1 button, which allows users to recommend sites. It is similar to the “like” button on Facebook.

#6 Tumblr

Tumblr was created in 2006 by David Karp. It is a social networking and microblogging site. Tumblr users can post content and multimedia in short blog form. Tumbler’s dashboard is the primary page for Tumblr. It is a live feed of posts and blogs from people that you follow. You can post text, images, videos, quote, or links to your blog. You can also share other people’s blogs. You are able to set up a schedule so that your posts can go over several hours or days. Tags (#) are a great way for your followers to find your posts easily. Currently, Tumblr hosts over 213 million blogs.

#7 Instagram

Instagram is a site which is used for mobile photo and video sharing and social networking. It was created by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger and was launched in October 2010. Currently, there are over 300 million users. Instagram allows users to upload photos and videos, and follow others so that you can see their posts as well. You can link your Instagram account to your Facebook and Twitter accounts so that the photos will be posted on those sites as well. Since the creation of Instagram, there has also been the creation of various trends.

  • Selfies: A selfie is a self-portrait taken with a cell phone or digital camera. Selfies gain the most amount of likes on Instagram.
  • Throwback Thursday: Throwback Thursday started on Instagram, and has made its way to Facebook and Twitter. Each Thursday, you post an old photo, and a hashtag #TBT.
  • Woman Crush Wednesday: Each Wednesday, you post a photo of the woman that you have a crush on.
  • Man Crush Monday: Each Monday, you post a photo of the man that you have a crush on.
  • Weekend Hashtag Project: At the end of the weekend, the Instagram Community team comes up with a theme. You would take a photo which fits in with the theme.

#8 VK

VK is one of the largest Russian social networking sites in Europe. Although VK is available in several languages, it is most common among Russian speaking users. Currently, VK has over 280 million users. Messaging is a widely used function on VK. You can send private messages to 2 and 30 people. Private messages can include photos, videos, audio files, maps, and documents. You can also post news and magazine articles on your profile. Like Facebook, there is a like button, however, while likes on Facebook automatically push the content to the user’s wall, a liked item on VK sends the content to a private favorite section. You can also synchronize your other social network accounts with VK.

#9 Flickr

Flickr is a website which hosts images, videos, and web service suites. It was acquired by Yahoo in 2005. As of 2013, Flickr had over 87 million users. Flickr offers three types of accounts. The first is free. This option allows you a limited amount of storage. The second is ad-free. This account offers the same amount of storage, however, there are no annoying advertisements. Finally, there is a Double account. This type of account allows you to double the storage of the other two available. The photos that you upload can be displayed in a justified view, a slide show, a detailed view, or a data stamped archive.

#10 Vine

Vine is a video sharing social network. It was founded in June 2012. Vine allows its users to record, edit, and upload five to six second long videos. You can also refine or share your photos. You can also follow others, and they can follow you as well. The videos which you post on Vine videos can be shared on Facebook and Twitter. If you want to look at videos uploaded by people who you are not following, you can search by user name, theme, and trending videos.

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Infographic Courtesy of TeenSafe.com

With all of the social networking sites out there, it could take an entire day to keep up with all of them. Whether you are on one of the top social network sites or one of the less well-known sites, it is important to always use social networking sites safely.