Website/App    

What is it?

 Need to Know

Messaging Apps

Facebook Messenger

Kik

What’s App

ooVoo

KaKao Talk

WeChat

Dedicated messaging apps provide instant messaging/texting, voice calls, and video conferencing for free. Most apps allow group chats with multiple users.

Minimum age to use:

  • Facebook Messenger - 13 years old (requires Facebook account)
  • Kik - 13-17 years old with parent permission, else 18 years old
  • What’s App - 16 or older
  • ooVoo - 13 years old
  • KaKao Talk - Requires parent permission for those under 14 years old
  • WeChat - 13-17 years old with parent permission, else 18 years old

Facebook

Social media website where users share updates, photos, and videos. People can comment on and/or like posts by others. Users need to request to be someone's friend to see their private posts.

  • A user's profile is public by default, but this can be restricted under privacy settings.
  • Users can also block specific "friends" from seeing what they post, so even if you friend your child on Facebook, you may not see all of their posts.
  • All profiles can now be found via search engines
  • Includes instant messaging and private messaging between individual members and groups

  • Minimum age: 13 years old

Twitter

Microblogging website where users post status updates ("tweets"), photos, and videos in 140 characters or less. Users "follow" other users to see their updates; unlike Facebook, anyone can follow anyone without the other having to accept a request.

  • Though profiles can be protected, i.e. made private, most profiles are public. Privacy is all or nothing -  if a profile is public, anyone can view the tweets.

  • Twitter can be done completely via texting/SMS; no internet or app required.

  • Minimum age: 18 years old (unless emancipated)

Snapchat

Mobile app that enables users to share pictures that expire after a designated amount of time (usually 10 seconds).

  • Though pictures are deleted from the Snapchat servers after they expire, recipients are able to save a copy via a screenshot.
  • Hackers recently released the names and phone numbers of all users
  • Minimum age: 13 years old with parent permission, else 18 years old

Instagram

Photo-sharing app. A user may keep their photos private, meaning that only followers they've approved may see them. Followers may like or comment on photos.

  • Photos are added to a Photo Map, which displays where in the world each photo was taken, right down to a specific building, such as one's house or school.

  • Minimum age: 13 years old

YikYak

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Mobile app that enables users to anonymously post comments and pictures, which can seen by anyone within a 10-mile radius.

  • Even though posts are anonymous to other users, law enforcement can track down the identity of a user for illegal activity, including threats, harassment, and drug use.
  • Each post shows the location of the user who wrote it.
  • Minimum age: 18 years old

ask.fm

A website where users can publicly  but anonymously ask questions of other users.

  • Even if a user signs in with a Facebook, Twitter, or other account, they can choose to ask questions anonymously.

  • Minimum age: 13 years old

Tumblr

A blogging website. Posts can contain text, pictures, and videos. Users can have multiple blogs/usernames, making it very anonymous.

  • Users can "reblog" or pass on other people's posts and comments, even after they have been deleted.

  • Users can also send others fanmail or ask them questions, which can be published when answered.

  • Mature content is allowed on Tumblr, but is filtered for users younger than 18.

  • Minimum age: 13 years old

 YouTube

Video sharing website. Videos can are public by default, but can be kept private. Videos can be liked/disliked or commented on.

  • Videos - even private ones - can be downloaded using special tools, enabling people to save a copy.
  • Comments are now connected to Google+ (see below)

  • Minimum age: 13 years old with parent permission, else 18 years old

Vine

Video microblogging app created by Twitter - similar to Instagram, but with looping video clips instead of pictures.

  • Mature content is allowed on Vine

  • Minimum age: 18 years old (unless emancipated)

Pinterest

Users save pictures and videos to virtual bulletin boards, which others may then comment on, like, or “re-pin” to their own board.

  • Boards may be kept private and/or shared with individual users, but Public is default
  • All public pins are featured on the homepage and are searchable by other users
  • Photos are frequently mislabel and/or have the original source removed
  • Pinterest can be connected to Facebook and Twitter to find friends and to share pins on those networks.
  • Minimum age: 13 years old

Google+

Google’s social network, which is similar to Facebook. Users can post status updates, photos, videos, and links. Google+ also has communities (groups) and Pages.

  • A user's profile is public by default, but this can be restricted using privacy settings.
  • Users sort people they follow into circles and can limit which circles see each post.
  • Users can enable their phone or tablet to automatically save photos to Google+
  • Includes Google Hangouts, an instant messaging and video calling app
  • Minimum age: 13 years old

Updated June 3rd, 2015

Popular Social Media Apps by Caitlin Cahill / Orono Public Schools is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.