Inside the business of children's digital media

Social Teens and what they mean to kids entertainment companies

There’s been a lot of talk in the last couple of weeks about how teens are abandoning Facebook.  A recent study by Piper Jaffay asked teens to name their most important social site, and Facebook is dropping - so are YouTube and Tumblr. And as the kids we’re entertaining are going to be teens one day, what does this mean for your marketing campaigns? OMG IS FACEBOOK DOOMED?

No. It’s not. While some people are touting the death of Facebook because of how teens are dropping off its grid, this enlightening blog by Cliff Watson  reveals there is something more to it: kids are already social. They don’t need Facebook to keep in touch with their friends. They have school for that. We, as adults, are changing the term social and then not understanding why kids aren’t on our social sites.

Here’s the best gem from Cliff Watson’s blog:

Instead of actual interaction and communication, we define “social” as once- or twice-removed ego validation through button-clicking.

There are other social areas teens are exploring, and no doubt mom and dad will soon be making their way there to keep tabs on what’s going on. Watson explains the top ones in his blog (Reddit, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Klik) – and you’ll see they’re still communication tools, but different from what Facebook or Twitter offers.

Remember passing notes to each other in class? The social apps kids basically replicate that experience.

How do teen trends speak to kid trends?  Other than being the teens of the future (said in a futuristic, scary voice), it simply means you need to consider your social channel carefully before launching a campaign. Don’t just go with Facebook and Twitter because they’re the most popular. As I’ve mentioned in this blog before, it’s important to consider how people use these social channels. Parents on Facebook and Pinterest? Yes! Trying to get kids to engage with your TV show on social? You’ll need pictures. You’ll need opportunities to live-chat. You’ll need to get familiar with Reddit and stay on-trend with new social channels opening.

If you need help navigating this space further, I can be reached at or at LinkedIn at


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Our spring edition of iKids Digital is now available! We’re taking a look at the looming rise of VR in kids entertainment, how MCNs are boosting the marketing might of kidsnets, and the rise of artificial intelligence in kids tech toys.


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