Teens are trend-hunters. They enjoy scouting out the latest and greatest clothes, technology and fads and being the one who introduces them to their entire network. Where they go many, many more follow. The same is true with teens’ use of social media. There is much we can learn about the future of social media by keeping a pulse on what teens are doing and saying on their favorite sites. Here are five teen trends worth knowing right now.
Maybe you’ve seen some of the outrageous challenges being posed by teens to other young teens on YouTube, Vine and Instagram. Take this fad and turn it into a marketing positive. Give teens challenges that are safe, but fun. You might find your brand riding the next viral video.
Snapchat allows users to share photos, but only for a brief period of time. The website highlights that you can snap a quick photo, regardless of whether it’s perfect, embarrassing or silly and share it with a small group of friends to “live in the moment.” Then, as quickly as it was sent, it permanently disappears. Snapchat’s feature has the opportunity to be innocent and fun, but also holds the recipe for danger – especially for teens. Just as the teen trend of “sexting” continues, Snapchat has started a trend where many teens will share proactive photos knowing Snapchat will delete the evidence moments later. But like any Internet technology, one small glitch in the system can cause a personal photo to be saved and shared across many other social media platforms. For anyone, especially teens, this would be a devastating outcome.
Moving Away From Facebook
This report from Digital Trends shows that teens are losing interest in Facebook. They are not logging in and interacting with their account as frequently as they used to and are finding other trends and forms of social media to replace the purpose Facebook once served. There’s no doubt that Facebook is among the most popular and most well-known social media platforms out there, which is exactly why teens are showing signs of being “over it.” They want to be on the cutting edge of starting new trends not following what’s already been discovered.
Moving Toward Instagram
While the teen trend is moving away from Facebook, it is moving toward Instagram. The most popular posts on Facebook tend to be the ones that include photos and Instagram takes this to a whole new level. Teens love experimenting with Instagram’s different filters and editing options that take the “selfie” to a whole new, stylish level. It’s a form of self expression and a way to see exactly what your friends are doing at all times. And because Instagram has yet to be deemed “too mainstream,” teens continue to flock to this social media platform.
Bullying Gone Viral
The days of the playground bully unfortunately still exist, except now the “playground” exists on numerous social media platforms. Social media bullies have been given an even bigger megaphone with which they can inflict public embarrassment and harassment upon others. This must be closely watched as an emerging trend because it is being encouraged and even glorified with the popularity of social media. And the repercussions are deadly. Edudemic.com states that 51% of kids say they’ve been bullied online and 49% say they have been the online bully. What can be done? Just like any trend, it will meet its demise once it’s deemed “uncool.” Whether you’re a teen, a parent of one or a fellow social media user who is connected with one, we can all do our part to discourage and counteract social media bullying through our own actions.
What else will teens come up with? It’s hard to say! The power and connectivity of social media has created a generation unlike any before it. But what can be expected is that the challenges and dangers of such trends will be equally as advanced as the technology that is used to create them. ~Stephanie