Resource sheet a – List of frequent sites visited by Young People
Group Me is an app that doesn’t charge fees or have limits for direct and group messages. Users also can send photos, videos, and calendar links.
It’s for older teens. The embedded GIFs and emoji’s have some adult themes, such as drinking and sex.
Teens are always connected. Without fees or limits, teens can share and text to their heart’s content, which may mean they rarely put the phone down.
Kik Messenger is an app that lets kid’s text for free. It’s fast and has no message limits, character limits, or fees if you only use the basic features. Because it’s an app, the texts won’t show up on your kid’s phone’s messaging service, and you’re not charged for them (beyond standard data rates).
Stranger danger is an issue. Kik allows communication with strangers who share their Kik usernames to find people to chat with. The app allegedly has been used in high-profile crimes, including the murder of a 13-year-old girl and a child-pornography case. There’s also a Kik community blog where users can submit photos of themselves and screenshots of messages (sometimes displaying users’ full names) to contests.
WhatsApp lets users send text messages, audio messages, videos, and photos to one or many people with no message limits or fees.
It’s for users 16 and over. Lots of younger teens seem to be using the app, but this age minimum has been set by WhatsApp.
It can be pushy. After you sign up, it automatically connects you to all the people in your address book who also are using WhatsApp. It also encourages you to add friends who haven’t signed up yet.
PHOTO AND VIDEO-SHARING APPS AND SITES
Instagram lets users snap, edit, and share photos and 15-second videos, either publicly or within a private network of followers. It unites the most popular features of social media sites: sharing, seeing, and commenting on photos. It also lets you apply fun filters and effects to your photos, making them look high-quality and artistic.
Teens are on the lookout for “likes.” Similar to the way they use Facebook, teens may measure the “success” of their photos — even their self-worth — by the number of likes or comments they receive. Posting a photo or video can be problematic if teens are posting to validate their popularity.
Public photos are the default. Photos and videos shared on Instagram are public unless privacy settings are adjusted. Hashtags and location information can make photos even more visible to communities beyond a teen’s followers if his or her account is public.
Kids can send private messages. Instagram Direct is like texting with photos or videos and you can do it with up to 15 mutual friends. These pictures don’t show up on their public feeds. Although there’s nothing wrong with group chats, kids may be more likely to share inappropriate stuff with their inner circles.
Musical.ly – Your Video Social Network is a performance- and video-sharing social network that mostly features teens lip-synching to famous songs but also includes some original song writing and singing. Musers, as devoted users are called, can build up a following among friends or share posts publicly.
Songs and videos contain lots of iffy content. Because the platform features popular music and a mix of teen and adult users, swearing and sexual content are commonplace.
Gaining followers and fans feels important. Teens want a public profile to get exposure and approval, and many are highly motivated to get more followers and likes for their videos.