Teens

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Travel Tech

Understanding teenagers’ online usage preferences can be very important; not only are they coming into the age of making big decisions such as for travel themselves, but their social network usage patterns can also represent future trends across demographics. TechCrunch reported how teens’ social media tendencies have been shifting in the recent past.

The Popular Ones

Of 5,200 teens surveyed, Facebook was voted as the most important social network by 33%, whilst Twitter was second with 30% of the vote. Instagram came third with 17% of the teens considering it the most important network.

While Facebook and Twitter’s popularity amongst teenagers is no surprise, when the distinction was made between social networks and social media websites, some interesting observations were made. Whilst Facebook remains the social media site of choice for teenagers, its importance has been falling, to the point where consistently second-ranked YouTube achieved approximately the same level of importance by Spring 2013.

This observation was reflected across most social media sites, with their importance to teenagers either falling or stagnating over the last year, although Instagram and Twitter showed strong growth.

Adopting New Platforms

The survey also found however that the teenagers made note of the new social media tools that had been exluded from the list: Wanelo, Vine, Snapchat, Kik and 4chan, in that order. With up-and-coming social apps taking the teen world by storm, it is no surprise that their interest in their previously important sites is dwindling.

Implications

Understanding the popularity of social media amongst the teen demographic is very important; not only is it essential to know where your key target audience is spending their time online, but also to know which demographic is on the various social networks.

Given the interesting information found from the teenager survey, it is essential to stay up to date on the perceptions and usage patterns of various social media sites. As new updates are made and layouts changed, these trends can be directly affected and so it is key for destinations and tourism organisations to be aware of where customers are turning to in developing their social media strategies. It is also particularly important to stay aware of the latest trends in social tools.

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