Technology moves fast and so does social media. This resource is dedicated to helping adults stay current with what’s new in the world of popular social media sites and applications (apps) for youth. The information provided is not exhaustive, but focuses on the trends and will be updated periodically as new apps and sites become popular.

    Like most tools, technology itself is neutral. All the sites listed can be used for many constructive purposes, linking youth to their friends and interacting in positive ways. Many youth use social media to create vibrant communities and to engage in social action and ally behavior. However, we know that sometimes youth (and adults) choose to use the same technology in profoundly negative ways. And people often use difference as a basis to undermine and disrespect others online.

    So it’s important to understand the technology and it’s important to teach the youth in your life skills, as well as your expectations, when they are online. Don’t assume that just because they know more than you about the specific apps that they know more than you about how to engage online in thoughtful and respectful ways. So, check out the list and the suggestions below for other ways adults can engage around the topic.


    ask.fm.  A social networking site set-up where users ask questions and answer those

    posted by others. Users are allowed to be anonymous, which has led to some youth

    using it to engage in hurtful and bullying behavior. App rated for 13+


    Facebook.  A social networking site with 1 billion users. Users share status updates,

    pictures, articles, etc. with friends or the public, depending on their privacy settings

    which change frequently. Facebook friends can “like” and comment on posts. Facebook

    users can also send messages to one another. Facebook also has numerous game © 2014 Anti-Defamation League 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158 www.adl.org education@adl.org

    applications that many adults and youth play, for example Farmville and Words with

    Friends. App rated 13+ 


    Instagram.  A smart phone app where users can share pictures and videos and follow

    certain hashtags (topics) related to their interests. Sharing can be set to either “friends”

    or public. Users can like and comment on posts or explore public pictures using

    hashtags. App rated 13+


    kik messenger.  An instant messaging app for smart phones. Allows users to message

    people without needing a mobile phone number or being charged text messaging fees

    because it uses wifi. Users can message pictures, share web content, etc. App rated for

    13+ but does not require age authentication.


    snapchat.  Smart phone app where users send photos and videos that disappear from

    view within 10 seconds from receipt. Users should understand that the pictures

    disappear from view but they don’t totally disappear and can be retrieved, as well as

    saved through the recipient’s print screen functions. App rated 12+


    Tinder.  A dating, “hook-up” app where users can view pictures of other users in the

    same geographic area. When users “like” each other an instant messaging feature is

    enabled allowing users to communicate directly. The app is rated ages 17+ but Tinder’s

    privacy policy allows teens as young as 13 to register (the app connects with Facebook—

    which is also technically for ages 13+—to pull in photos for users/ Tinder profiles).


    Tumblr.  A blog site where users upload pictures, links, text or gifs in a steady stream of

    information. It is a streamlined blog site that favors creative expressions. Users can post

    text, but gifs and pictures are the most reblogged types of content. Users can use

    hashtags to search site content or have their content associated with popular hashtags.

    Users must be 13+


    Twitter.   A micro-blogging site where users communicate in 140 characters or fewer. Users

    can share website links, pictures and videos. Hashtags were made popular on Twitter are a

    tremendous search tool for general research on any topic. However, hashtags can also be

    used to insult. Twitter’s latest terms of service omit an age requirement but they discourage

    users under 13. Twitter does support other products that screen for age. © 2014 Anti-Defamation

    League 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158   www.adl.org      education@adl.org


    vine.   Twitter affiliated app where users can send 6-sec looping videos to recipients.

    Nudity and sexual content are allowed per the terms of service and are even highlighted

    in the description for the app. Vine videos are sharable on Twitter and other social

    media platforms. App rated 17+


    voxer.   A walkie-talkie app that include both a live PTT (push to talk) and a voice

    messaging system. Messages on Voxer are delivered live as they are being recorded and

    then also delivered as a voice message. The app is marketed towards businesses but

    individuals are getting the app for personal use as well. App rated 4+


    whisper.   An app which allows people to share “secrets” or “confessions” anonymously

    with an accompanying picture (like an e-postcard). Users can share or comment on the

    posts. Posts also can include geo-location. App rated 17+


    Yik Yak.  A social bulletin board. All users are anonymous and it’s designed for

    “Yakkers” to post info about events, etc. which other users then vote up or down. Like

    most sites that allow anonymity, the platform can lend itself to posting negative

    information or comments about others. App is rated for 17+




    So along with the lists of apps and sites, here are some other things adults can do:


    ·         Youth should know that your values and standards for how we treat one another are the same

    in person and online, and that they will be held to your expectations.


    ·         Ask questions first: Ask about the sites youth enjoy and why? Try to understand their world

    and engage in dialogue.


    ·         Talk to your children about cyberbullying specifically, not just about what to do if they are a

    target, but also expectations about how to respond if they see cyberbullying happening and

    consequences if they engage in cyberbullying.


    ·         When necessary, help youth report cyberbullying or hateful behavior.


    ·         Come back regularly to the webpage and see what’s new. Since awareness and the willingness to continue learning are critical tools for parenting in the digital age, we hope you find this information helpful.



     © 2014 Anti-Defamation League 605 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10158 www.adl.org education@