2. Social media around the world

When many people in Australia think of a social media platform, Facebook, X (Twitter) and Instagram come to mind. However, not everyone has access or wants to use these platforms. Many countries have their own popular platforms for keeping in contact with family and peers, entertainment, news and business content.

Benefits of using social media platforms not commonly used in Australia:

  • Develop overseas networks.
  • Reach a wider audience to allow for collaboration with people of common interests.
  • Make wider connections with people from distant parts of the world.
  • Practice a different language or help others learn your language.
  • Learn about new cultures and get involved in global communities.
  • Gain access to daily global news and information.

World map of social media as of January 2023 by Vincenzo Cosenza Vincos. It  includes popular social media outside Australia and New Zealand, including WeChat and VK.

World map showing most popular social media in different countries.

World map of social networks January 2023” by Vincenzo Cosenza Vincos is licensed under CC BY-NC 4.0.


WeChat is the sixth most widely used social networking app in the world and is used by over 1.3 billion people every month. It is a free, instant messaging and mobile payment app most widely used in China. The app has become an invaluable and convenient tool for messaging, reading articles, accessing products, playing games, and much more. Through the app, around 45 billion messages are sent and 410 million audio and video calls are made every day.

Watch One day of WeChat (YouTube, 1m43s) to see all the different things you can do with this one app!

Baidu Tieba

Baidu Tieba, very similar to Google, is China’s most popular search engine. It is also a discussion forum where people can get together and exchange information on almost anything. Users search by keywords to view and participate in discussions.


VK, short for its original name Vkontakte, is a Russian online social networking site which contains similar functionality to Facebook. Users can create groups, public pages and events; message each other either privately or publicly; share and tag images, audio and videos; and play browser-based games. It has the strongest social media presence in Russia with 46.6 million monthly users!

Fun fact: the app is available in 86 different languages but is predominantly used by Eastern Europeans!


Hike is an Indian messenger-based platform that allows users to send stickers, photos and video messages. It also has a voice calling feature.


Taringa is a social media platform geared toward Spanish speakers, and has an estimated 27 million users.  Content is split into topics in a way familiar to users of Reddit and Facebook.


In 2014 Q.Q. (also called QQ) set a Guinness world record for having the largest number of users at the same time on an instant messaging site. It has more than 800 million monthly active users and 60% of users are under 30 years old. This platform can be used for blogging, emailing, playing games as well as instant messaging.

Watch QQ app – how to use social networking app (YouTube, 1m30s) on how to set up a Q.Q. account.


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