As parents, the struggle to keep up with what teens are up to is real—not least of all online.
The scarily efficient trend cycle means social media apps for teens rise and fall in popularity fast. Naturally, a parent wants to know that their child is safe online.
Below, we explore the top social apps for teens, including popular dating apps and social media apps for teens. Get clued up as to what apps are appropriate for teenagers and what to avoid.
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The Best & Worst Social Apps for Teens
So, what are teens into these days? One thing’s for sure, it’s not Tamagotchis and magazines!
If you’re feeling out of the loop as a parent, you’re not alone. What are things 15 year olds do in 2024? Demystify it by finding out more about the top social apps for teens, including the best apps for tweens and apps parents should avoid.
Social Media Apps for Teens: The Holy Trinity
Once exclusively a photo sharing app, Insta has evolved its structure significantly to keep pace with TikTok. Stories, reels, and even shopping flesh out the experience to keep up with its chief competitor (so keep credit cards hidden if you catch them scrolling a little too much!).
Social Media Apps for Teens: The Has-Beens
3. Skype & Instant Messengers
Parents approaching their wiser years may recall the widespread popularity of instant messengers. Needless to say, with WhatsApp’s supremacy, IM is a relic of the past. Skype in the teenage mind equals online classes or job interviews, as does the pandemic’s greatest hit, Zoom.
Social Media Apps for Teens: The Niche
For parents that dabbled in the Internet back in the 90s or 2000s, Discord resembles the internet forums you might recall. Somewhere between instant messenger and private forum, Discord is largely associated with gaming, but hosts any and all kinds of community, from music fandoms to fashion gurus. Because of this format, Discord is one of the best apps for teens to make friends. It has an age rating of 13+.
3 Safe Social Apps for Teens Parents Can Get Behind
Unplugging the Wi-Fi isn’t the solution to the dangers posed to your children. Below are three brilliant apps for teens that all parents can get behind!
1. AlfredCircle – Location Tracking
Teens benefit greatly from location tracking, whether or not their parents are involved. AlfredCircle is a free location tracking app that let’s users share their locations on a live, private map. Adding Places to the map triggers notifications when users enter or leave the location.
2. BeReal – Authentic Social Media App for Teens
Nowadays, social media is a necessity for most teens. That’s unlikely to change. Edited images and unattainable lifestyles raise concerns for parents, as teens consume an excessive amount of content on social media apps.
BeReal disrupts this by emphasizing authenticity. Users can only post once a day during a specific two minute window, the idea being that the images show friends who you really are, with no filters.
3. Google Family Link – Online Safety Control
Family Link provides comprehensive digital life management, including content filtering and screen time features. It’s easy for parents to monitor their kids’ activities and set down time limits, so that a more healthy balance is encouraged for digital device use.
Approve the apps they want to download, supervise their use of YouTube, and protect the family’s privacy by granting or denying data permissions.
What apps can a 12 year old have?
All major social media apps require users to be aged 13 or older to have an account. This includes YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, and X (Twitter). Some specify that parental guidance must be provided for anyone younger. YouTube Kids filters content specifically for children.
Roblox is a popular online game with a strong social aspect that has a variety of age ratings to indicate appropriateness for different games: All Ages and 9+ are suitable for 12 year olds. In general, 12 year olds are likely still interested in creative and mobile game apps over social apps.
What are things 15 year olds do?
15 year olds are likely to have developed specific interests and hobbies. These might be niche or popular, and parents should encourage exploring new interests as they emerge. Sports, music, fashion, and gaming are common interests for 15 year olds.
They might also be interested in more philosophical pursuits, like art and religion. Political perspectives are more likely to develop fully in the later teen years, but many 15 year olds have topical opinions on current affairs, particularly through social media.
At 15 years old, their independent social life is just beginning, so socializing is an interest both online and in real life.
The best apps for teens are the most popular ones—YouTube and co—because they have the most comprehensive privacy and safety features. Seedy sites to steer clear of include Kik and Omegle.
This is the internet we’re talking about, so offensive and inappropriate content is extremely likely to slip between the cracks. That’s why monitoring apps for tweens with digital management apps is helpful.
Likewise, AlfredCircle keeps them safe if they take their online lives offline, particularly if they are just beginning to socialize independently or go on dates.