You may already know about sites like Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr that teens spend a lot of their time on, but did you know about these? New social networking sites and apps are becoming more and more popular.
Pinterest is the latest social networking website to gain substantial popularity. It is very similar to popular blogging site Tumblr in that it is centered on images and videos. People have described it as “virtual scrapbooking”. You can add images or videos called “pins”, either from your computer or from another website. These pins can be placed in different “boards”. “Boards” work in the same way as a cork bulletin board would work in real life. You name them, assign them a category (art, food, fashion, etc.) and then place pins on them. You can have boards themed around baking or fashion, to your favorite books and home décor. The social aspect of Pinterest comes from being able to see what your friends pin and put on their boards. You can also “repin” images from your friends and other users.
All in all, Pinterest is starting to garner a lot of attention from teens, mostly female. Even though it may seem like the “scrapbooking” nature of this website would appeal more to an older crowd, teens seem to enjoy the creativity and self-expression that this website offers.
With the closing down of Limewire, teens have been looking for their next free music grail. And they may have found it with the service Spotify. Spotify offers free streaming of music from many record labels like Sony, EMI,Warner Music Group, Universal, Merlin and The Orchard. This means that teens have almost the entire music world available to them. Best of all, this service is completely legal! However, there are some limitations. There are the occasional advertisements that interrupt your music and after six months of using Spotify, you are limited to 2.5 hours of streaming a week. The unused hours are saved (up to ten hours). There are two paid upgrades to Spotify which are Unlimited and Premium. These cost $4.99 and $9.99 a month respectively. They include features like no advertisements, unlimited streaming, offline mode and the ability to play your tracks on a mobile device like a cell phone or iPod Touch. Personally, I find that the free version is good enough for my purposes.
To create a Spotify account, you first need a Facebook account to link it with. This will allow you to connect with all of your Facebook friends who use Spotify. You will be able to see what songs your friends are listening to at the moment, see and subscribe to their playlists and even send them song tracks that you think they will like! This gives Spotify a social networking aspect. Besides giving teens free access to music, Spotify also allows teens to show everyone what they are currently listening to and lets them see what their friends are listening to.
Instagram allows you to edit and share photos with others in one app! Use the camera on your iPhone or iPod Touch to take pictures or use pictures that you already have on your device. You can edit the photos by applying different filters that can give your photos different moods. From vintage looking to black and white, there is a filter for everything. You can make minor adjustments like adding a frame or flipping the picture. Then just click done, add a caption and then share instantly to websites like Twitter, Facebook, Flickr or Tumblr.
Why do teens love this app so much? It allows us to share moments in our lives almost instantly. We almost always have our phone on us and can snap quick photos from everyday moments. The options to add filters can make an ordinary camera phone photo look like a work of art. We can then share the photo with all our friends from a variety of other social networking websites. With the feature allowing you to follow other people, you can also see their pictures. You can also “like” other people’s pictures and save them in the app for the future.
4. “Games” With Friends
Another type of app that has recently become very popular among teens (and still is) are games which you play with friends. Games like Words With Friends and Hanging With Friends allows you to play Scrabble and Hangman one turn at a time. You make your move and wait until your friend will make their move the next time they use their device. You can have many games going on at the same time. Teens like this because these kind of games allow them to play full games with their friends and do not take that much time to play.
The latest game to bank off this craze is Draw Something. In this you are given three choices of words to draw (one gives you one coin, one two coins and one three coins). After you draw it, your friend has to guess what you drew. If they guess correctly, you get the coins. If they don’t, then the game is restarted and you are back on turn one. One purpose of the game is to get as many correct ones in a row. You can also buy other colors to make drawing the pictures easier. Connect Draw Something to your Facebook account so you can play this game with those who you usually interact with on social networking websites.