10 of the Hottest Social App Trends for Teens

The Most Popular Apps Kids Are Using to Stay Connected

Social networking isn't what it was just 10 years ago. Gone are the days when MySpace and Facebook ruled the web. Now, practically everyone's gone mobile, with real-time photo and video sharing becoming the big trend that people are most excited about -- especially teenagers.

Facebook has admittedly confessed that it has struggled to keep its younger users engaged and excited to interact on its platform, despite once being the ultimate go-to social network of choice for young people just a few years ago. So where are they now?

They're on their phones and tablets, of course. Here are some of the most popular social networking and messenger apps that kids are flocking to by the thousands each and every month.


A lot of kids still use Facebook Messenger on their phones to get in touch with their friends, but one of Facebook's biggest competitors is WhatsApp -- an extremely popular alternative for individual and group text messaging on mobile. As of October 2013, WhatsApp reported having over 300 million users. It's available on all major mobile platforms, and was free until a subscription fee of 99 cents per year was implemented in 2013.


Snapchat is another extremely popular private messaging app for photos and short videos only, which are automatically deleted after they've been viewed for a few seconds by the recipient. For teens, this "self-destructing" feature is a big part of what makes Snapchat so appealing, encouraging kids to interact more as all their previous snaps disappear. Privacy, sexting and screenshot saving have posed some issues for this one, but it still remains one of the hottest apps that teens are increasingly using.


Facebook may have ruled social photo sharing on the web, but Instagram arguably rules over it on mobile. Although Instagram doesn't openly share how many of its users are teens, it's not all that hard to see that this mobile social platform is absolutely infested with them. All you have to do is check out the photos on the popular page (Explore tab) or search through some popular hashtags to get a glimpse of how young the dominant demographic truly is on Instagram.


Although Instagram has become a popular place to share short videos, Vine still remains a good competitor, especially for auto-looping feature and its embedding functionality in tweets. Like real-time photo sharing, apps that offer users the ability to film and edit short videos on their phones that last just seconds long have really taken off as of late. A perfect match for today's youth, Vine has become a go-to place for people with the shortest attention spans and a craving for visual content.


Photo © Tumblr, Inc.

Tumblr is one of the web's most popular blogging platforms, and a lot of teens have admittedly traded in their Facebook accounts for a Tumblr blog instead. Like Snapchat, Instagram and Vine, Tumblr is largely dominated by visual content, and has become one of the number one platforms for animated GIF sharing. Although Tumblr allows its users to create blog posts in all sorts of formats like text, audio, quote and dialogue, it's arguably the visual content -- photos, videos and GIFs -- that make Tumblr worth spending so much time on.


Pheed is a relatively new thing that's been attracting more young people to its platform on the web and mobile. Built to offer the best components of all social networks while remaining heavy on the multimedia side of photo and video, more kids have been turning to this one to connect to their friends and express themselves. It's also attracted quite a few hot musicians and artists to use for promoting their own original content, which could be another reason why teens like it so much.


Like WhatsApp, Kik has become an insanely popular messaging app for kids who like to chat with their friends. It's just one of the other fast and intuitive messaging apps used as an alternative to SMS texting, requiring only a username to connect to friends rather than a phone number. If you take a look on Instagram, you'll probably notice that a lot of profiles list their Kik usernames in their bios so that other Instagrammers have some kind of way to contact them privately. 


Ask.fm is a Q&A-based site (and app) that lets users take questions from their followers, and then answer them one at a time, any time they want. In any case, it gives youngsters another reason to talk about themselves other than in the comment section of their own selfies. Although Ask.fm may not be as huge as Instagram or Snapchat, it's a big one to watch, for sure. With such a big interest from youngsters, it absolutely has the potential to become the go-to place for Q&A content.


Because of how big of a resource Twitter has become for getting real-time news and connecting with high profile individuals and celebs like musicians, bands, actors, politicians and more -- teens have quickly taken a liking to the 140-character microblogging social network. And because it's so easy to use from a mobile device, it's all the more convenient to access. Of course, with its integration of embedded multimedia like photos, articles and videos in tweets through Twitter Cards, the visual component that most kids really love can now get that on Twitter now too.


Photo © Google, Inc.

Google Plus and teens? Really? Well, maybe not quite yet, but it's trend we'll have to watch. Because Google is slowly but surely rolling almost all of its popular services into its social networking platform (Search, Gmail, YouTube, Google Play, Google Docs and others), it's almost forcibly becoming an ideal tool to use for connecting with others you already interact with through Google services, like your Gmail contacts and YouTube subscribers. It also has a whole slew of other cool features, like Snapseed photo editing and Hangouts, Google's popular video chat service for individual or group chats.