Do you remember when teens left MySpace to join Facebook? Shortly after, adults also joined Facebook. Even though adults didn’t really join MySpace, they joined Facebook by the hundreds of millions. This resulted in the Facebook platform not being as popular for teens. So what social media platforms are teens joining now, and what can we learn from this?
In a recent study conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, although 94 percent of American teens have a Facebook account, they use it less and they use it more carefully. Over half of teens have updated their privacy settings, and regularly edit or delete previous posts.
Even though they’ve updated their privacy settings, teens feel that Facebook is more like a family picnic than a private party. While they still share photos and use Facebook messaging, they’ve turned to newer social networks to post their status updates. These are the sites they’re using and why they’re using them:
Teens have a better understanding of privacy, but they still want to put themselves in the public light. This is why they joined microblogs such as Tumblr and Pheed. The culture of the sites is geared towards creative self-expression, instead of casting their life on Facebook. Both of these sites are mobile-friendly and have a substantial amount of clever and thematic blogs. While neither of these platforms is teen oriented, there’s a significant difference in style and content between the feeds on Tumblr and Facebook.
Last year the number of teen users doubled. Teenagers use this forum more publicly than they do Facebook. While teens reported that they keep their Facebook accounts private and visible to only their friends, only 24 percent keep their tweets private. Twitter has a more instant feel than Facebook does, and this is a good platform to consider if your posts are popular and timely.
Instagram is a great platform to share photos. Teens used to feel that this was a great platform, until their parents became users. They then migrated to Snapchat, which allows them to send pictures that self-destruct after they are viewed. While this is a great gimmick, don’t get caught up in the thought that your picture will disappear forever. Remember that the recipient can always take a screenshot of your picture before it gets deleted.
Messaging services such as Kik and WhatsApp are great ways to connect your text messages to Facebook in the US. On the international level, messaging services such as WeChat are popular in China, and KakoaTalk are popular in Korea. In the Middle East and Asia, Line is becoming quite popular. Although these services can use-up your data, they can also help decrease your cell phone bill.