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Social Media Apps

Teens spend an average of nine hours a day online so, many parents ask…what’s up with social media apps? Here are some of today’s most popular apps used by kids 18 and younger. I hope this will help you keep your family safe and keep parents up-to-date when it comes to social media use. I hope you enjoy my Tuesday Tip! ~ Cathy

Facebook, accused of handling users’ personal information improperly, is evolving to emphasize groups where people with like-minded interests share photos, videos and stories. Still massively popular around the world, Facebook is rapidly losing young users.

Owned by Facebook, WhatsApp is a global platform for sending secure messages, images, documents and making phone and video calls. WhatsApp adds over 800,000 new users every day, most of whom use it regularly. It is extremely popular in India and Israel.

Also a Facebook property, Instagram lets its users share photos and videos that are described with “hashtags” (#). These descriptive hashtags allow users to easily search for content about a specific topic. 9 out of 10 Instagram users are under the age of 35.

Twitter users post content on breaking news, celebrities and opinion — particularly regarding politics. Posts, known as “tweets,” are limited to 280 characters. By default, tweets are public, though users can send private messages to groups of followers or to individuals.

Snapchat, which is built for smartphones, allows users to post pictures, stylized videos, and messages (“snaps”) that are only available for a short time, though there are ways to preserve snaps. Snapchat is most popular among millennials, who use it to communicate in real-time.

Yolo is a fast-growing app powered by Snapchat and very popular with teens. Yolo lets users post questions anonymously. The questions are entered and appear on Yolo but are answered on Snapchat. To prevent bullying, Yolo says it will publicly identify participants who harass people.

Beijing-based Tik Tok is the fastest growing app in the world with a half-billion regular users and is currently the most popular app globally among teens. Tik Tok is used to create and share brief videos, often lip-synched music video clips, some risqué.

Kik lets kids 13 and over text for free, though some parental groups have expressed concern about whether Kik is safe for young people. The app makes money through sponsored chats that promote brands and through optional downloadable apps designed to sell products.

Discord is another fast-growing voice and text platform -that originally focused on online gamers- and has grown to include many online communities. Users set up their own channels but Discord has encountered issues with users posting controversial, bullying and adult content.

We hope you’ve learned a little more about the most popular social media apps and platforms and how your kinds are spending their time on social media.

I hope you enjoyed Cathy’s Tuesday Tip this week. To view more of Cathy’s Tuesday Tips, visit our blog.

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