Just thought I would share something with you. Like most people, I am sure you will agree, social media affects our business and personal lives.  One lunchtime I met up with a friend, whose eldest daughter recently turned 13 years of age, and while we were chatting she mentioned her daughter, who was “on and on” about Snapchat. My friend was worried, asking my advice as someone who works in social media and has children, especially as my friend hadn’t a clue about Snapchat.  So she made me think again, as someone is involved with social media and as a parent, about what social media channels my kids are on.

There are three platforms my older two kids (teenagers) are most interested in at the moment, my youngest is still in primary school and won’t be let on social media for quite a while. Kids are now on more than one social media and messenger app, here is some info on a few of the ones my kids are on (I am on them, which my kids “throw their eyes up to heaven” knowing I am on them too!).

Snapchat

My kids seem to be always snap chatting on their mobiles. Snapchat is free and only available on mobiles. Taking photos and videos, posting them with filters, stickers and text, sending messages (chats) to their friends and once they have been viewed they disappear. This has great appeal to kids and teenagers. But images and videos can be screenshot which means they can be saved by others and so don’t disappear.  In Snapchat you can create your own personal emoji called a Bitmoji, it’s an expressive cartoon avatar that you can create to look like you. You can choose from a large selection of stickers with your Bitmoji “You” as the star of that sticker. It’s quite fun to do. Snapchat has a total number of monthly active users 300 million and growing.

Instagram

The next social media channel my kids “love” is Instagram as it’s very visual. It’s free and available on mobile and desktop, but most kids use the mobile version where the share photos and videos (adding filters, stickers and text) with their friends. They can post stories (photos and videos) which appear at the top of the screen to be seen first. This platform is popular and with the use of hashtags in their caption and comments you can increase the reach of whatever is posted. The Explore Tab is used to see what is popular and find new people to follow. Kids love following their friends and  “trendy” people. The location tagging shows where a photo was posted so it’s safer not to tag a location. In April 2017, Instagram announced 700 million monthly active users.

WhatsApp

This is also free and is more of a messaging app.  Can send single messages to lots of people at the same time in a group. You can share photos, videos, voice messages, and your live location. Able to choose your location but it has to be turned on in your phone settings and give location permission to WhatsApp.  Personally, I think it’s safer not to do so. As of July 2017, the mobile messaging app announced more than 1.3 billion monthly active users.

To be honest…

There are other platforms that are steadily growing in popularity with kids. I talk about the above platforms and other ones with my own kids, they don’t like it. They hate it when I ask about the latest Snapchat or Instagram filters, mention hashtags and show them my latest selfie I was “thinking” of posting! In their eyes I’m embarrassing, but I for me it’s my angle regarding their safety, in the hope that they will be happy to come and discuss things with me, rather than online (and we can expand our social media conversations on how to be safe, to what not to post or say etc… online).