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What Social Networks and Apps Are Trending With BC Youth


This week, I had the opportunity to poll 602 youth between grades 6-12 throughout British Columbia, and I asked them what social networks and communication apps they were using to stay in touch with friends and here’s what they reported back:

Social Networks:

  • Facebook: 45% using

  • Skype: 16% using

  • Twitter: 15% using

  • Tumblr: 9% using

  • Instagram: 9% using

  • Youtube: 2% using

  • Pintrest: 2% using

  • deviantART: 1% using

  • YouNow: .3% using

  • Myspace: .3% using

  • Google+: 0% using

Communication Apps:

  • MMS Text messaging: 87% using

  • Text +: 6% using

  • KIK: 3% using

  • GifBoom: 2% using

  • Keek: 1% using

  • TinyChat: 1% using

Some other interesting comments and findings:

  • We already knew that our kids were using multiple social networks, but we learned that it was not unusual for them to be using 3-4.

  • Now that the purchase of Instagram by Facebook is complete, we are starting to see more integration of Instagram into a youth’s Facebook platform.

  • When asked why Twitter was starting to trend with our youth, many stated that it was cool to follow famous people (such as pop stars), it was becoming an “ego” thing to see how many followers one could get, or because it was harder for mom and dad to follow them. Many also stated that they did not use Twitter for private messaging, thus why mobile MMS was preferred. It was also interesting to see how Twitter was more in use by those in the senior grades than the junior grades. It was also interesting to learn that several students reported that Twitter was an effective platform for digital peer aggressors to use to target other students or teachers via “burn pages.”

  • Youth are looking for mobile communication apps that synergize their ability to communicate (via pictures, video and text) with their social network of choice. A good example of this, using KIK on Instagram. They especially like those communication apps that allow them to personalize or stylize pictures or video taken via their mobile device such as GifBoom, KIK, Keek, or CamWow.

  • Mobile social networking platforms and communication apps, rather than desktop or laptop platforms, are definitely trending with our youth. This should not be a surprise, given the popularity of Smartphones with our youth.

What’s trending today when it comes to social networks and communication apps may not be trending tomorrow. Youth are always in search of the next NEW social network or app. I have no doubt that in 6 months, the above-noted numbers will change given the fluidity of digital media and our youth.

Digital Food For Thought

Darren Laur

AKA #thewhitehatter


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