With kids and teens spending so much time attached to their phones, it can get pretty difficult to gauge what exactly they’re spending their time on. One day it’s Instagram, and another they’re learning a new dance for TikTok. It’s pretty hard to keep track of what the most popular apps for teenagers are today.
Fortunately, that’s where Cyber Civics, from the folks at Cyberwise, come in. Cyberwise is a resource site for adults looking to inform kids and teens about digital media, and how to use it safely. They are the companion site to Cyber Civics, which produces a digital literacy program for middle schools around the world.
The group’s hands-on research in and out of classrooms has helped them create a list of the most popular apps for teenagers. They also created a handy PDF guide that parents can keep. We’ve embedded that downloadable PDF, as well as a list of Parentology’s social media Parental Control resource articles, at the bottom of this post.
Check out the list and download the guide below.
YouTube (Ages 18+, or 13 with Parent Permission)
You likely know about the video-sharing platform, which has found popularity with everyone from children to older teens. Users can create their own profiles and upload their own content, or watch others’ content and leave likes and comments.
The platform has recently been under fire by both parents and the FTC for how they track minors’ data and allow them to access content. After an investigation ended with YouTube being fined, the app is now making serious changes, including ending targeted ads on kids’ content and restricting community features like commenting.
Snapchat (Ages 13+)
The long-popular private messaging app allows users to exchange photos and videos that allegedly expire just seconds after being sent. We say “allegedly,” because kids can quickly grab screenshots of images sent to them, which can cause lots of problems if those messages are inappropriate. Users can also create private messaging threads and group chats among themselves, sending media files, texts, and even money.
Here are the two sketchy-yet-popular apps right now…