Popular Smartphone Apps for Tweens and Teens

By: Kathy Trainor Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 4.45.51 PM

Everyone knows  Facebook, Youtube and Twitter.   You are starting to hear about Instagram and Tinder but do you know the rest of the apps on your teens phone? Do you really know the Apps Teens and Tweens Use?

In this rapidly changing digital world, it’s crucial for parents to be  “Online.” I suggest you become active and understand the apps your teens and tweens are using!  Parents are the first line of defense when it comes to online safety!  Do you know what the age restriction is for the app your child, tween or teen is  using? Do you know their passwords in case there is an issue?  Do you have a policy for your child’s use on a particular app?  Can you list 10 apps they use that you are not using?  If you answered “No” to any of those questions you should take a look below to gain more info.

Here is a quick reference guide of apps that kids, teens and tweens are using:

Texting apps

Kik Messenger

Kik Messenger is a free instant messaging application available for download on mobile devices. It has become extremely popular among kids as a means to connect privately with people they know or are meeting on other social media platforms, like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. It doesn’t require a phone number, so it’s very appealing to younger kids without a mobile phone because they can use it on their iPod Touch.

ooVoo

ooVoo is a video chat app. It lets you make video calls, voice calls and send texts to friends and family. You can also start a group video chat with up to 12 people. The default privacy settings are set to ‘public’, so you can talk to people you don’t know, but they can be changed so that you can just talk to your friends.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp Messenger is a cross-platform mobile messaging app which allows you to exchange messages without having to pay for SMS.

Micro-blogging apps and sites

Tumblr

Tumblr is so easy to use that it’s hard to explain. It is a platform that makes it really, really easy for anyone to make a blog and put whatever they want on it.  

Vine
 This app allows you to create short, looping videos in a simple and fun way for your friends and family to see. Set up much like Twitter and Instagram but only with videos that last about 6 seconds. 

Self-Destructing/Secret apps

Snapchat
Snap a photo or a video, add a caption, and send it to a friend. They’ll view it, laugh, and then the Snap disappears from the web.

Whisper
 Connect with likeminded individuals and discover the unseen world around you. You are in unknown user and can tell secrets to your users.

Yik Yak
Share your thoughts and keep your privacy on Yik Yak. Download the app and check out what everyone’s saying around you based on our location. No sign-up required.

Chatting, Meeting, Dating apps and sites

Below are the most common dating sites that are activity used by teens and college students. These have come a long way from E-Harmony.  The Apps Teens and Tweens Use for dating are not like adult ones so take peek and know the risks.

MeetMe
Omegle
Skout
Tinder

While most of these apps were developed as free and easy way for people to communicate and stay in touch, it is easy for young kids, who don’t fully understand the dangers and the implications their internet use can have, to find themselves in an undesirable situation. Talk to your kids about internet safety and discuss the rules that should be associated with each app.  The more you know about what sites and apps they’re using, the easier it will be to keep them safe.

What apps do your kids use? Do you have any warnings about popular apps right now?

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