Google Plus and SnapChat are currently tied as the most popular social networks in the U.S., according to a new ranking compiled by CenturyLink. That likely already seems dubious on the face of it, since Facebook has nearly 2 billion users and SnapChat has 150 million, as compared to Google's 111 million users. However, CenturyLink didn't take the conventional approach with its ranking, either. Instead, it looked at data pulled from Google search trends and information compiled by SimilarWeb in order to list out which social platform seemed most popular by state. Popularity was, in turn, determined by which social network claimed the most states. As a result, only five social networks are on the list with sites like Twitter not making the cut. By the methods used, and in order of popularity by state, the ones that did make it include Google+, Snapchat, Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram.
Surprisingly, Google's "not-a-social-network," namely Google+, took the top spot with more users across no fewer than 14 states seeking out the site to check it out or sign in than any other social network. Meanwhile, tied in that top position, and with the same number of states, is Snapchat. However, that's probably not as surprising as Google taking number one, in terms of the number of states it is most popular in. With regard to which states were claimed by each, Google+ snagged Ohio definitively, followed by California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Washington. On the other hand, Snapchat is the most popular awards for the more obviously more camera-centric users in Mississippi, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Rhode Island, South Carolina, and Tennessee.
Pinterest, the more specialized social network focusing around photographs, DIY, and hundreds of separate boards covering pretty much every topic, also fell just short of tying in as a third leader on the board. Pinterest users are most prominent in South Dakota but the network is also more popular than the rest in Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Louisiana, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oregon, Utah, and Wisconsin. In fourth place on this list, Facebook finally makes an appearance. The social media giant is 14-years-old and almost 15, but it is still somewhat surprising that it didn't rank higher even with consideration for the less-than-conventional analysis represented by CenturyLink's list. With only eight states to its name, the state Facebook is the most dominant in is West Virginia. It's also still the most popular, according to CenturyLink, in Alabama, Alaska, Maine, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Vermont, and Wyoming. Rounding out the list, and in last place with only three states where users most widely use the service, is Instagram. Social media users in Hawaii, in particular, love the social media platform. That's probably not too shocking since it is effectively a platform designed for amateur and professional photography – and used prominently by food enthusiasts. Aside from that, it has more users than the other platforms in Nebraska and Washington D.C.