Teen apps. Let’s talk about what is popular on the smartphones of teenagers.
And just like that, I am the mother to a TEENAGER. Yes, I know my youthful looks may have you in denial as well *sarcasm* – last week, my baby turned 13. I can cry just typing that, but it happened – I am trying to accept this new reality.
With her birthday, came LOTS of time together with her and her friends. Instead of a traditional party, she wanted a few friends over for a sleepover. I took the girls to dinner, to the mall, to get pedicures and acted as the oversee-er for the night as they decided to jump in the pool at 1am with full clothes on. Yep, I was filming it. All that time together, I got a good feel for what teens like. And yes, it is their phone, but what apps do teens like?
What Apps are Teens Using?
I am a big proponent of being and following your kids on all social networks that they are on. I have a friend who is several years older than me, with older kids. She reiterated this advice this past week. We are our kids advocate. They need to know there are adult eyes watching. What is posted online will live with them potential forever. I read a stat recently that 87% of colleges review applicants social profiles. I know this is true for employers as well.
Here are the 5 apps that I heard constantly about during our little 13th birthday excursion last weekend.
How do I describe Musically. It’s like lip-sync karaoke that you film. I’m too introverted to even attempt, plus it’s appears to be 90% 12-18 year olds performing. My daughter has spent her lunch at school this week making them. Kids can do duets. It really is entertaining to watch and fun to watch how creative some of these kids are.
Many parents are questioning whether their child should be using Muscial.ly. Stay tuned for my thoughts on this karaoke app.
My daughter setup a new Instagram account that she is calling SPAM, because that is exactly what she does – she takes photos over and over and spams them to Insta. This isn’t an original idea, her friends do it to. This makes me want the Instagram algorithm to kick-n so I can stop seeing her random pics in my stream (no seriously, they come in 5 at a time!)
I did tell her to setup a private Instagram account, though I know she is just letting people follow her – at least her stuff isn’t all out in the open.
The other thing I should mention that I discovered, her and her friends use the Instagram private messages like texting. SO, if you notice your kids texting but no actual text messages show in messages – check out the Instagram private messages or possibly they are using another app to text (What’s App, possibly?) Sneaky kids, ugh.
An oldie but a goodie – these teen girls use the YouTube app for instant dance parties and singing, lots of LOUD singing. 2 of the girls at the party had not met 1 of the girls from another school. First question they ask the new girl “Who is your favorite YouTube star?” Yes, it’s a thing and like wanting to know what TV shows someone watched back in my day – today teens want to know what YouTube channels you follow. (If you have littles, make sure you are using the YouTube Kids app!)
Miitomo App by Nintendo
Miitomo is a new social network from Nintendo. It launched on March 31, 2016 but the teens are all over it. It’s a silly network where you create your mii and ask others questions. I did find out these girls search other friends – friends and start following them.
I’ve asked my teen if she would do a review post. I’m still trying to wrap my head around it but the kids are loving it.
The SnapChat app is definitely one of the teen apps that kids are using. I made myself join this about a month ago, and while it’s not a daily use thing (yet) – I like it more than I ever thought I would. I think the impression I got from this when it was released was it’s good for sexting which I’m old and not my game. Since SnapChat has gone mainstream, added in numerous filters and PR companies are looking for SnapChat influencers – I’ve seen the world move on to this bandwagon.
My teen’s friends are all on it, but I’ve told her no to this app. I’ll keep learning more about it and if it feels okay, then she can use it – but for now – I’ve said no to allowing my teen on SnapChat (but secretly, I am TOTALLY obsessed.)
Have a teenager? Read Why I Won’t Let My Teen Watch 13 Reasons Why Alone.
What Teen Apps Are Your Teen Using?
Let us know what teen apps your kids are using, leave a comment below!
Mom to 4 kids, Molly aka Digital Mom is the blogger-in-chief here at digitalmomblog.com. Talking technology and mom life, Molly shares the realities of parents digital kids.