Recent reports go back and forth on teens’ favorite digital hangout, but the fact is that the days of a one-stop shop for all social networking needs are over. Instead, teens are dividing their attention between an array of apps and tools that let them write, share, video chat, and even shop for the latest trends.
Here’s why they’re so popular with teens:
Teens like using it to share quick tidbits about their lives with friends. It’s also great for keeping up with what’s going on in the world — breaking news, celebrity gossip, etc.
a platform that lets users snap, edit, and share photos and 15-second videos — either publicly or with a network of followers.
Snapchat’s creators intended the app’s fleeting images to be a way for teens to share fun, light moments without the risk of having them go public. And that’s what most teens use it for: sending goofy or embarrassing photos to one another. Snapchats also seem to send and load much “faster” than email or tex
Many teens have tumblrs for personal use — sharing photos, videos, musings, and things they find funny with their friends. Tumblelogs with funny memes and gifs often go viral online, as well (case in point: “Texts from Hillary”).
Teens aren’t wild about Google+ yet. But many feel that their parents are more accepting of it because they associate it with schoolwork. One popular aspect of Google+ is the addition of real-time video chats in Hangouts (virtual gatherings with approved friends), and some schools may use Google Docs for classroom assignments.
Videos run the gamut from stop-motion clips of puzzles doing and undoing themselves to six-second skits showing how a teen wakes up on a school day vs. a day during summer. Teens usually use Vine to create and share silly videos of themselves and/or their friends and family.
Teens keep up with the latest styles by browsing Wanelo’s “trending” feed, which aggregates the items that are most popular across the site. They can also cultivate their own style through the “My Feed” function, which displays content from the users, brands, and stores they follow.
It’s fast and has no message limits, character limits, or fees if you just use the basic features, making it decidedly more fun in many ways than SMS texting.
Teens mostly use Oovoo to hang out with friends. Many log on after school and keep it up while doing homework. Oovoo can be great for group studying and it makes it easy for kids to receive “face to face” homework help from classmates.
Kids can find out opinions, secrets, rumors, and more: plus, they’ll get the bonus thrill of knowing they’ve all come from a 1.5 mile radius (maybe even from the kid at the desk in front of them!).
Although there are some friendly interactions on Ask.fm — Q&As about favorite foods or crushes, for example — there are lots of mean comments and some creepy sexual posts. This iffy content is part of the site’s appeal for teens.
The price is right — for teens who have a hard time keeping within the limits of a standard texting plan, the ability to send unlimited messages for free is a definite bonus.
Being anonymous can be very attractive to teens, and Omegle provides a no-fuss opportunity to make connections. Its “interest boxes” also let users filter potential chat partners by shared interests.
This admittedly silly concept has taken off big-time since the app’s release in mid-2014. While it may not seem like much, this single word has the potential to let friends and family know you’re thinking of them, and just wanted to say, you know, “Yo.”
With all the emotions running wild in the minds of teens, anonymous outlets give them freedom to share their feelings without fear of judgment.
Which other apps are you or your kids loving right now? And will Facebook’s new slingshot be on the list soon?