In this day and age, just about everyone (adults, teens and tweens alike) has smartphones! With the prevalence of smartphone use comes prevalence of app use. Check out and get to know which Android apps your tweens and teens are most likely using.
Facebook and Facebook Messenger. Facebook continues to be one of the most popular social media platforms out there and many young teens are on it. Facebook is one of the fastest ways to stay updated with friends and family. It allows users to chat, upload photos and videos, share common interests, and so much more. The Facebook Messenger app allows users to get personal messages instantly, a lot like texting, but without the standard text fees. Facebook Messenger users can create group chats and send videos and photos. Also, a fun and popular part of this app are the stickers and Emoji (icons that express emotions).
Minecraft. This popular game is all about creating and building things, as well as adventure. This Android app does cost money to download. Once a user begins the game, they can access the Survival and Creative modes and random worlds. There are also multi-player modes available.
Instagram. This is the commonly used platform for capturing and sharing photos. It is a simple way to share experiences with the world on an Android. With several customizing options, Instagramers can change a simple photo into a work of art. Instagram is also a social media platform of it's own. Photos can be shared with friends and other followers on Instagram. Users can give, share, like, comment, and receive photos with this and related Instagram apps.
Spotify. Spotify allows you at access music anytime, anywhere. Much like iTunes, Spotify users can manage, play, and create playlists. However, the free version of Spotify does not feature downloading. Through the app, people can shuffle through artists, albums, and discover new music. The app allows users to choose ready-made playlists that suit a particular mood or get personalized recommendations.
Kik. This app, available for Android, is a newer social network platform. The app allows people to text without having to give out phone numbers. Much like Facebook, users set up their own accounts, usernames, and profiles. Kik users can manage conversations and choose who they connect with. Besides chat, users are able to find and share games, music, celebrity gossip and more.
Twitter. This is yet another app that allows users to express themselves and connect with people and ideas. Through Twitter, many people follow their favorite celebs, get breaking news stories and gossip, and get catch behind the scene glimpses of concerts and more. Twitter users can tweet their own tweets, photos, and videos to followers. Users can set up profiles to be viewed publically or privately to followers.
With most of these apps being public platforms, it is very important to be aware of privacy settings. One thing to keep in mind, especially for preteens and teens, is that once something hits the Internet, it is impossible to take it back. Even when privacy settings are set up successfully, there is no guarantee that postings will remain private among followers and friends.
A good rule for all social media app users is: if you wouldn't want everyone you know to see it, don't post it. A photo may seem harmless and fun at the time, but later down the line will you feel the same? If not, don't post it. If it could draw the wrong attention, take preemptive action and choose not to post it. As a protective measure, keep tabs on your teens' and tweens' phones to make sure they're making good decisions with uKnowKids.