12 Social Media Apps All Parents Should Know Series-Day 1


Welcome to Day12 Social Media Apps_Day 1 1 of the 12 Social Media Apps All Parents Should Know Series.

This week we’re going to talk about 12 social media apps popular with teens.
Some of these might be familiar to you. Others might be new to you.
I’ll introduce 3 social media platforms each day this week. On Friday, I’ll wrap up the week by posting all 12 social media apps for you. My hope is we’ll end the week as parents who are a bit more informed.

Let’s get started!





Facebook is a popular free social networking website that allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch with family and friends. It offers a range of privacy options to its members.

What Teens Say

Teens often feel they need to get a Facebook account as the “base” social media account. But, many younger teens don’t enjoy hanging out on Facebook because they prefer a social media platform where they’ll run into fewer adults.

What Parents Should Know

Facebook updates its privacy policies often. Teach your teen how to manage their privacy settings and let them know the importance of reviewing those privacy settings regularly. The only information required when setting up an account is your name, email address, and gender. There’s no need for teens to share their cell phone or address. This information could end up in the hands of marketers if teens share it and with the constant updates and third party apps, that’s easy to do.




Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service where users can send and read short 140-character text messages, called “tweets”. Registered users can read and post tweets. Unregistered users are only able to read them.

What Teens Say

Teens love Twitter because they are able to share quick thoughts and updates with friends. The biggest draw for teens is that Twitter makes it easy for them to keep up to date on breaking news and celebrity gossip. Many teens love following their favorite bands, celebrities and even television shows.

What Parents Should Know

The majority of teens set their account to public. Although there is the option for setting your account to private and then selecting who follows you, most teens report having their accounts set to public (Pew Internet & American Life Project, 2013). It’s important as parents we talk to our kids about what they post and how quickly a post can travel.
Tweets appear immediately. If you have a regret about something you posted, you can remove it. But, your followers can still read what you wrote until it’s gone. Teens who are prone to “vent” in the heat of the moment may need guidance here. Using an app which allows teens the ability to schedule their tweets (TweetDeck or HootSuite) might be a good transition tool if this is a concern.
It’s a promotional tool for celebrities. The big appeal of Twitter for teens is that they are able to get behind-the-scenes access to celebrities’ lives. This gives a whole new level of access to your teen. It’s good to have a conversation with your teen about marketing and point out the strategy that goes into the tweets of their favorite celebrities.




Instagram is a platform that lets users snap, edit, and share photos and 15-second videos. Users are able to share these publicly or they can share with a list of those they’ve approved as followers.

What Teens Say

Instagram brings all the features teens love into one social media site. With Instagram you can share, see, and comment on photos. There are lots of fun filters and cool effects to add quickly to photos you take which give them a high quality, artistic look.

What Parents Should Know

Teens want their photos and videos to receive “Likes.” Similar to Facebook, it’s easy for teens to fall into the trap where they begin to measure the “success” of each photo they share by the number of likes or comments they receive. Posting a photo or video can be problematic if teens post it to validate their popularity. It can easily become a social media app that inflates their self-esteem or tears it down.
Accounts are set to public by default. This means photos and videos shared on Instagram are public and may have location information unless privacy settings are adjusted. Hashtags can make photos even more visible to communities beyond a teen’s followers. It’s important you know this so you can walk your teen through the privacy settings that work for your family as they set up their Instagram account.
Mature content can slip in. Instagram’s Terms of Service specify that users should be at least 13 years old. It also says users shouldn’t post partially nude or sexually suggestive photos. Terms of Service doesn’t cover violence, swear words, or drugs.


  1. Lynn Schott on May 6, 2014 at 9:04 am

    Great info for parents of teens. Looking forward to the rest of the series. I’m sure I’ll learn a lot!

  2. […] Yesterday we discussed Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you missed that post you can view it here. […]

Leave a Comment