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It's official: Facebook isn't cool. Though some teens still use it, they prefer to use a variety of apps to connect, curate, and capture their lives in different ways. And though household names such as InstagramSnapchatand Twitter have proven their staying power, teens love to try out new apps they hear about from friends,or even what's trending in the app store. This can be challenging for parents to keep up with. But you don't need to know all the ins and outs of all the apps, sites, and terms that are "hot" right now and frankly, if you did, they wouldn't be trendy anymore.
But knowing the basics -- what they are, why they're popular, and what problems can crop up when they're not used responsibly -- can make the difference between a positive and a negative experience for your. The more you know about each, the better you'll be able to communicate with your teen about safe choices. The bottom line for most of these tools? If teens are using them respectfully, appropriately, and with a little parental guidance, they're mostly fine.
So take inventory of your kids' apps and review the best practices. GroupMe 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. Kik Messenger is an app that lets kids text for kik usernames boy 13.
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. WhatsApp lets users send text messages, audio messages, videos, and photos to one or many people with no message limits or fees.
Discord started as a place for gamers to chat while playing video games but has become a bigger platform where users can use text, voice-chat, and video-chat to discuss a wide variety of topics. There are public and private "servers" or discussion groups. Teens can public groups, ask to private ones, or start their own. The safest option is for them to a private group with people they know in real life. Some groups are more moderated than others, some are NSFW, and some are hate-filled.
There are plenty of groups that are meant for adults only, and some are totally tame and well moderated. If your kid is in one of the latter, the risk is much lower. Instagram lets users snap, edit, and share photos and 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. Tik Tok - Real Short Videos is a performance- and video-sharing social network that mostly features teens lip-synching to famous songs but also includes some original songwriting and singing. Users can build up a following among friends or share posts publicly. Users create and follow short blogs, or "tumblogs," that can be seen by anyone online if they're made public.
Many teens have tumblogs for personal use: sharing photos, videos, musings, and things kik usernames boy 13 find funny with their friends. Twitter is a microblogging tool that allows users to post brief, character messages -- called "tweets" -- and follow other users' activities. It's not only for adults; teens like using it to share tidbits and keep up with news and celebrities. Houseparty - Group Kik usernames boy 13 Chat is a way for groups of teens to connect via live video. Two to eight people can be in a chat together at the same time. If someone who's not a direct friend s a chat, teens get an alert in case they want to leave the chat.
You can also "lock" a chat so no one else can. As they watch, they can comment or buy gold bars to give to other users. Ultimately, the goal is to get lots of viewers, start trending, and grow your fan base. Snapchat is a messaging app that lets users put a time limit on the pictures and videos they send before they disappear. Most teens use the app to share goofy or embarrassing photos without the risk of them going public. However, there are lots of opportunities to use it in other ways. Whisper is a social "confessional" app that allows users to post whatever's on their minds, paired with an image.
With all the emotions running through teens, anonymous outlets give them the freedom to share their feelings without fear of judgment.
Monkey -- Have Fun Chats. If you remember Chatroulette, where users could be randomly matched with strangers for a video chat, this is the modern version. Using Snapchat to connect, users have 10 seconds to live video-chat with strangers. The name says it all. Although not marketed as a dating app, MeetMe does have a "Match" feature whereby users can "secretly admire" others, and its large user base means fast-paced communication and guaranteed attention.
Omegle is a chat site that puts two strangers together in their choice of a text chat or a video chat. Being anonymous can be very attractive to teens, and Omegle provides a no-fuss way to make connections. Its "interest boxes" also let users filter potential chat partners by shared interests. Yubo formerly Yellow - Make new friends is an app that is often called the "Tinder for teens" because users swipe right or left to accept or reject the profiles of other users.
If two people swipe right on each other, they can chat kik usernames boy 13 hook up via Snapchat or Instagram. Amino - Communities, Chat, Forums, and Groups is an interest-based app that lets users find people who are into the same things. Teens can groups -- or create them -- and then post within the group, follow other users, and chat with them via text, voice, or video.
If teens are using them respectfully, appropriately, and with a little parental guidance, they should be fine. Take inventory of your kids' apps and review the best practices. Parents' Ultimate Guide to Support our work! Corona Column 3 Use these free activities to help kids explore our planet, learn about global challenges, think of solutions, and take action. Parenting, Media, and Everything In Between. Social media apps that let teens do it all -- text, chat, meet people, and share their pics and videos -- often fly under parents' radars.
By Christine Elgersma. Updated June 6, Social Networking for Teens. Games and Sites That Encourage Movies About Friends.
About Christine Elgersma. Have you discovered apps on your kids' phone that you'd never heard of before? Facebook Twitter Pinterest Print. Browse More. Browse Advice Most Shared. Parents' Ultimate Guide to YouTube.
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