What Is Jott? An Intro to the Messaging App Teens Are Loving

Find Out How This Messaging App Is Different from All the Others

Photo © Dean Belcher / Getty Images

When it comes to predicting what the next big social app is going to be, teens are always right on the ball before everyone else. Instagram, Kik Messenger, Snapchat, Yik Yak, you name it -- they all start with a young audience and blow up from there.

The latest one is called Jott, and it's a messaging app kids are flocking to download by the masses for one very specific reason: they have a lot of friends they want to chat with, but they don't have data plans for their mobile devices!

Jott: How It Works

In terms of messaging features, Jott takes inspiration from other apps that are popular with young people. Anyone who downloads it will notice it gives users the option to sign in with Instagram so they can chat with their friends in their networks. It also uses a "like" or "pass" screen similar to Tinder for adding new contacts.

Upon signing up, users are asked to verify their accounts by phone or by email, and from there they can customize a few profile options and sync up their contacts. Profiles resemble those of Facebook or Twitter, where a profile photo is featured along with a header image and status updates beneath it. Users can also add contacts by searching for specific usernames or by using AirChat to scan for other Jott users nearby.

Now the big draw-in for this app has to do with the fact that users can chat with each other without a data plan and without a Wi-Fi connection.

To do this, the app encourages users turn Bluetooth and Wi-Fi radios so that it can operate on Bluetooth low energy via a mesh network, or a router that has a 100-foot radius.

Once users have set up their devices for offline chatting and are within close proximity to each other, they can instantly message each other using both text and photos.

Text chats and photos disappear after a while, and there's a screenshot detection feature similar to what Snapchat that sends users notifications if the person they're chatting with snapped a screenshot of their message.

The Appeal of Offline Messaging

Many teens have mobile devices, but not all of them have data plans, and that's exactly what makes Jott such a popular app for them to want to use. And while they love to use social networking apps like Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Tumblr -- texting is still ultimately king.

During school hours, teens who are close enough to each other in the same building or schoolyard can use Jott for offline messaging. Students can then join their school's network, chat privately or start private group chats.

The more Jott contacts a user has, the farther it will reach. And it since it can be used from an iPod Touch or an iPad, it's not absolutely necessary to have a smartphone to be able to use it.

Overall, it's really the ultimate solution for teen tech enthusiasts who just aren't yet old enough to pay for their own plans. Jott is available to download for free for both iOS and Android devices.

Teen Trends in App Messaging and Texting

Jott may be the hot new app among teens, but there's still lots more to say about how they choose to interact using technology.

A 2015 study published by Pew Research revealed some interesting statistics about how American teens ages 13 to 17 are embracing communication in the mobile era:

  • 88 percent own or have access to a cell phone or smartphone
  • 73 percent actually own their own smartphone
  • 91 percent of those who do use cell phones or smartphones send and receive texts, either by SMS or through web apps
  • The average teen sends and receives about 30 texts a day
  • 33 percent use social messaging apps like WhatsApp, Kik Messenger and others
  • 41 percent (or two-in-five teens) use Snapchat
  • 91 percent go online using a mobile device at least occasionally
  • 92 percent go online daily

Teens today are clearly more plugged in than ever, and they'll likely continue to be the major driving demographic of up and coming popular apps for many years to come.

Next recommended article: 10 of the Hottest Social Apps for Teens