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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Irwin

The most innovative companies in social media for 2024

Why WhatsApp, Lex, the Nudge, and Spill are among Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies in social media for 2024.


In 2023, social media entered a new era—Gen Z users are demanding more authentic connection. This year, the most innovative platforms introduced features to foster more intimate communication, following a new trend in user demand that social media feel more inclusive, interesting, and creative. 

For some apps, it was all about helping users find belonging. Lex, fueled by a fresh round of venture capital investment, used group chatting features and a new user experience to emerge from being a best-kept lesbian secret to the go-to platform for queer people to find love and friendship in several major cities. Letterboxd created a dedicated space for movie lovers to chat about and share recommendations, expanding their reach through partnerships with some of the biggest organizations in film like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (who award the Oscars) and Netflix. Others emphasized more personal connections—Lapse capitalized on Gen Z’s affection for analog cameras with an app that requires you to put down your phone after taking a photo and let your flick “develop,” for example, while The Nudge offers personalized day plans that encourage users to get outside and spend time with friends. WhatsApp, meanwhile, helped users keep in touch with their real-life connections, through more robust peer-to-peer messaging features and a rejection of algorithmic content and friend suggestions typically used to connect people to the wider world (and advertisers). 

Other platforms responded to the niche-ification of social media with better content moderation features to help users feel more secure, like Discord implementing educational content warnings for teens, or Spill building the first micro-blogging platform that prioritizes the needs of marginalized creators. Others helped advertisers take advantage of the increasingly meaningful connections made online, like in-app shopping features on Pinterest and Patreon, or expanded posting options and revenue share for creators on Snapchat

Explore the full 2024 list of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, 606 organizations that are reshaping industries and culture. We’ve selected the firms making the biggest impact across 58 categories, including advertising, artificial intelligence, design, sustainability, and more.

Fast Company link to package (click through to see more write-ups about each company):

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