If a picture is worth a thousand words, it should be no surprise that Facebook is loosing its luster with the young crowd. Image-centric network applications focused on sharing videos and photos, such as Tumblr, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and soon Netflix incorporates social media functionality.
Kammy Caruss, president of YNotWeb in Fair Oaks, specializes in strategy and marketing for a web-enabled world. She follows trends and demographics to advise her clients.
“Tumblr is actually starting to be king with kids and young adults for the same reason most visual sites (Instagram, Pintrest) are gaining popularity,” Caruss said. “They are much less stringent on their ‘use’ terms, specifically they let site users be anonymous and use a pseudonym, which means they are not monitored by parents, there is no pressure to add people they don’t want to, and there is no effective age restriction.”
Naturally these applications attract more users with fewer restrictions and tighter integration capacity with multiple mobile platforms (Android, iOS, PC) making it easier to share and comment about images and videos.
“These sites are also focused on self-expression and creativity, rather than ‘what are you doing’ and ‘status model’ of Facebook, which is more appealing to the younger generations,” Caruss said.
Privacy and security are an anathema in this networked environment. So it is important to appreciate where the next digital hangout is going to be and prepare your child to be a responsible user.
Jennifer Rodriguez is the founder of Salice Family Services in Orangevale, a charity devoted to helping children and families develop healthy emotional bonds. Salice programs are geared around the prevention of bullying through building individual resiliency. ‘Project me’ is one of their programs that provides a registry of photos where kids and adults hold up a sign describing who they are. “We moved ‘project me’ to Tumblr and found that we are attracting more participants,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez’s own children do not yet have Tumblr accounts. “Our daughters earn their social media privileges by being members of good standing in our home,” Rodriguez said. “This includes the responsible use of texting and social media.”
Her middle school child has a Facebook account which she monitors, and her grade school child has started her social media experience on YourSphere, a social platform with age-appropriate security and content for children.
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