« Back to all posts

Social Channels to Consider When Going International

Social Channels to Consider When Going International

The world is becoming increasingly connected and while almost everyone is plugged into Facebook, it’s not the only place you should be focusing your efforts when trying to reach an international audience. Diving into the AddThis network of sharing data, which is pooled from activity taking place on over 15M domains around the world, we put together a list of the top social channels to consider when going international.


WhatsApp Messenger is a freeware and cross-platform messaging and voice service that is used by more than 1 billion people in over 180 countries. It is quickly growing and based on AddThis data, is the number one service for sharing in Brazil, as well as one of the most popular in Portugal, Mexico, France, Spain, and Germany. The application allows the sending of text messages and voice calls, as well as video calls, images and other media, documents, and user location. Especially as chatbots become increasingly popular in the marketing world, WhatsApp is a no-brainer for putting together a solid international strategy.


WeChat is a Chinese multi-purpose messaging and social media application and is the number one most popular service on the AddThis network in China. China is a top economic market and therefore makes WeChat a very valuable channel to tap into, especially as they recently launched the ability to make in-app payments between users.


The theme with messaging applications continues in the international market with KakaoTalk, a free mobile instant messaging application for smartphones, popular in South Korea.

Tencent QQ aka QQ

Tencent QQ is another messaging application, developed by the same company who created WeChat. It is a top service in both Japan and South Korea.


If you are trying to reach an audience in Japan, you should consider checking out Line. It is one of the most popular services in the country with over 700 million users.


SinaWeibo is a Chinese microblogging platform. They boast nearly 400 million monthly active users and are consistently a top platform for sharing in China reflected in the AddThis network data.

Of course, even with the outliers, all of the regions consistently used Facebook and Twitter, as well as some areas seeing high shares in LinkedIn and on GooglePlus.  So, even though you most likely are already putting time and effort into these channels, it’s important to research how you can reach different audiences and regions within those networks.

The Data

Using a list of target countries, we pulled the 100 most used services for sharing content in each region (ranging from traditional social networks to channels such as email). From each list we broke out the top services and the percentage of which they were used.

The result is a list of insightful data into what services are being used the most in each of these countries. There are many expected themes, such as Facebook and Twitter having a presence across the board. But we also are able to gather a list of services that are less mainstream in the US and other top markets. If properly strategized, investing in these channels could net a great result for any digital or social media marketing plan.

Most popular share channels by country

If you’re looking to expand your reach into new regions, don’t forget to think outside of the box and get creative with where you spend your time. The effort will be worth the payoff! And if you’d like to integrate sharing tools into your website that includes the ability for your users to send content to all these sites, be sure to check out the AddThis Share Buttons.

Plan your translation project