By Daniel Krueger

Teenagers in the US flock to social media and networking sites in millions. They are continually using these sites to chat, share, play, watch, and more. So, if you’re looking to know where your teenage child spends her time online, look no further than the following 12 sites.

#1. YouTube

We all know teenagers love watching and sharing videos. That’s why it comes as no surprise that more than a whopping 91% of the approximately 40 million US teens visit video-sharing site YouTube. Interestingly, the Alphabet owned site receives over 1.3 billion visits every day. As you already might suspect, teens visit YouTube to upload and share their videos as well as watch tons of other entertaining clips including cat videos.

#2. Gmail

Up next is another site owned by Alphabet (formerly Google), Gmail. According to Statista, 71% of teens visit Gmail to check, send, and read emails. The good news is that Gmail is fully free, secure, and doesn’t compromise your teen’s privacy.

#3. Snapchat

Nearly 66 percent of teens are on Snapchat, trailing 5 points behind Gmail. According to Statista, Snapchat is currently the most popular social media platform among teens, beating giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

What’s Snapchat? It’s a social messaging platform (which includes an app) that allows users to put a “time limit” on the videos and pictures they send before they eventually get deleted/disappear. The primary reasons teenagers love using Snapchat is because they can share embarrassing or goofy photos or videos without the fearing the risk of them finding their way into public domain.

What parents need to know about Snapchat? There’s plenty of iffy-clicky content in there. Besides, Snapchat makes sexting (sex chatting) seem okay. While the site says the data goes away, it’s somewhat unbelievable as you know data is data (in can stored forever).

#4. Instagram

Instagram is the second most popular social media platform (site+app), only trailing Snapchat. It attracts more than 65% of US teens. What’s Instagram? It’s a social media site and app that allow users to shoot, edit, and share 15-second videos and photos. Users can do this either within a private network of followers or publicly.

Teens love Instagram because it brings together the best of all social media: checking out, sharing, and commenting on videos, posts, and photos. It also allows teens to apply effects and filters on their media.

What do parents need to know about Instagram? Teens can send private messages, photos are public by default, and users are always on the lookout for “likes.”

#5. Facebook

When most people talk about social media, they are probably thinking Facebook. And for good reason – Facebook commands a following of nearly 2.2 billion users. Unfortunately, Facebook is more popular among other demographics than teens. Nonetheless, 61 percent of US teens are on the social media platform, chatting, commenting, and sharing posts, video, photos, and even articles.

#6. Kik Messenger

If there’s one app that has gained incredible traction, it’s Kik Messenger. With more than half (>52%) of American teens typing away on the app, Kik Messenger is no shabby.

What’s Kik Messenger? It’s a free app available for download on Android, iOS, and Windows platforms. It let’s teens text for free. It’s much loved because it’s fast and has no character limit, message limit or fees if you only utilize basic features.

Parent Alert! Kik Messenger is ladened with in-app purchases, ads, and stranger danger is an issue.

#7. Skype

Skype was once a darling for teens. Well, for a platform that attracts 48% of US teens, Skype is still a formidable force to reckon with. It is great for video chats, sharing, and messaging. Stranger danger is also a problem when it comes to teens on Skype.

#8. Twitter

Twitter has always been touted as a business social media platform. No wonder its popularity with teens has fallen to 40%, behind its arch rivals Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and WhatsApp.

#9. Vine

Teens love creating and sharing meme and GIFs — and Vine is where they do it best. For a less popular video-sharing platform, Vine sure attracts a significant share of teen attention (31%) in the US. Microblogging giant Twitter currently owns it. Video allows users to share 6-second looping videos.

#10. Tumblr

Tumblr is a hybrid of something like Twitter and a blog. It’s a streaming scrapbook of photos, text, video, and audio clips. 24% of US teens are active on Tumblr.

Some parents might not like the idea of their teenagers visiting Tumblr because porn is quite accessible. Of more significance, is that posts can be copied and distributed making privacy and cyberbullying an issue.

#11. Houseparty.com

Houseparty is a Group Video Chat platform where teenagers can connect via a live video stream. As such, 2-8 people can be able to chat simultaneously.

#12. Whisper

Whisper is a self-destructing social app like Snapchat. Unlike the latter, however, Whisper is geared towards making confessions. It allows teens to let out their emotions, feelings, and mistakes without the fear of being judged.

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Written by Cathy Griffen.
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