What Apps Are Teens Using Right Now? We've Got The Scoop—Your Teen Mag (2023)

By Catherine Brown

With so many phone and computer apps on the market, and new ones popping up every day, it can be difficult to keep track of which apps our kids are using. Here are the most popular apps for teens right now, along with what you need to know about each app.

What Apps Are Teens Using Right Now? We've Got The Scoop—Your Teen Mag (1)

What apps are your teens really using?

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Anonymous Messaging Apps

What parents worry about: Apps that allow anonymous texting can lead to poor choices and cyberbullying.

Lipsi (17 and up)

What parents need to know:

  • The makers of Lipsi encourages users to put their Lipsi link on their Instagram account so they can receive anonymous feedback about their posts.
  • Users can easily erase chat history, which means they can be tempted to engage in risky behaviors.

Tellonym (13 and up, though anyone under 15 should get parental permission)

What parents need to know:

  • This anonymous texting app currently has over 10 million users.
  • Tellonym claims to be monitoring for inappropriate content and has a section on their site about managing safety concerns.
  • Users can block certain words, for instance, or block messages from people who are not registered users of the app.
  • In England, several schools have warned parents about bullying connected with the app.

Live Video Chatting Apps

What parents worry about: Live video apps can raise concerns about privacy and the potential for inappropriate content and interaction with predators.

Houseparty (13 and up)

What parents need to know:

  • This group video chat service is reportedly the fourth most downloaded app and 60 percent of its users are under 24.
  • According to Bark, a parental control phone tracker app, Houseparty doesn’t monitor chats, which raises the risk of kids being exposed to inappropriate content.
  • Users can only add people they already know through Facebook or their contact list.
  • There is an option to add people nearby, but the location service can be turned off.
  • Privacy settings can also be used, and chats can be locked to reduce the risk of strangers joining a chat.

(Author note: I had never heard of Houseparty until this year, but it has become ubiquitous in my house. My extremely social child uses it to chat with a group of friends. Throughout the day, she receives notifications when a new friend is “in the house.”)

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Holla (13 and up)

What parents need to know:

  • Users engage in live video chats with strangers.
  • Several reviews mention users exposing themselves or engaging in sexual activities during chats.

Messaging apps

What parents worry about: Any messaging app can lead to inappropriate conversations and raises the risk of exposure to predatory and inappropriate behaviors.

Kik (13 and up)

What parents need to know:

  • Kik is reportedly used by one-third of American teens 13-17.
  • Kik has been in the news because of cases involving online predators.
  • The company that makes Kik offers a safety guide for parents.

WhatsApp (13 and over)

What parents need to know:

  • WhatsApp was ranked 13th on Apple’s list of the most popular apps of 2018.
  • The app allows users to send unlimited messages and photos without worrying about data limits.
  • Users can share their locations and contacts while messaging, but that feature can be turned off.

Telegram (16 and up)

What parents need to know:

  • Telegram allows users to send texts, images, and videos.
  • Secret messages are encouraged, and users can access X-rated stickers and plug-ins.

Entertainment apps

What parents worry about: Entertainment apps can offer access to inappropriate content and potential interactions with strangers.

Zepeto (16 and up)

What parents need to know:

  • This fast-growing app allows users to create animated versions of themselves and then interact with other users in a chatroom.
  • Zepeto allows users to interact with strangers through an anonymous follow function and direct messaging.
  • The app has a lot of ads and users might feel pressured to make purchases to get more followers and likes.

BitLife (17 and up)

What parents need to know:

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  • BitLife is a text-based, life simulator app.
  • Users are asked to make adult choices, like whether to have a one-night stand or use drugs.
  • Common Sense Media makes this recommendation: “While older teens and adults who understand the tongue-in-cheek approach and mature content will likely get a kick out of this simulator, BitLife – Life Simulator is definitely not appropriate for kids and younger teens.”

Discord (13 and up)

What parents need to know:

  • Discord is a voice and text chatting tool for gamers that has over 100 million users.
  • Users can send direct messages to each other, so there is the potential for interactions with strangers.
  • Some users discuss games for older teens and adults, so risks of accessing inappropriate content are high.

TikTok (12 and up)

What parents need to know:

  • TikTok is the new Musical.ly. The app has over 80 million users and was ranked as 16th on Apple’s list of the most popular apps of 2018.
  • Accounts are public by default. If the account isn’t set to private, anyone can contact the user directly.
  • TikTok has been in the news because of tween and teen users receiving inappropriate messages from other users.
  • There is also some explicit content, but a restricted mode helps filter out anything inappropriate.

YouTube (17 and up)

What parents need to know:

  • A Pew Research Center Study from last year showed that YouTube is the most popular internet platform, with 85 percent of teens 13-17 using it.
  • The company recently reiterated their policies prohibiting harmful and dangerous content and said they would ban all challenges and pranks that can cause emotional distress and lead to physical harm.
  • Past efforts to ban certain kinds of content have been unsuccessful and inappropriate content has even slipped through YouTube Kids.

Photo-Sharing Apps

What parents worry about: There is a high risk of encountering inappropriate content, including pornography, on photo-sharing apps.

Snapchat (13 and up)

What parents need to know:

  • The Pew study found that 69 percent of teens 13-17 use Snapchat and it ranks first in terms of how often it is used
  • The app has been in the news often for instances of predator encounters and users self-harming as a result of content.
  • One of the most alarming aspects of the app is its “Discover” feature, which enables individuals and companies to create their own channels. S
  • Some of the channels are age-gated, meaning users must at least say they’re 18 to access the sometimes-explicit content, but not all channels are.

Instagram (13 and up)

What parents need to know:

  • This photo- and video-sharing platform is the second most popular app for teens 13-17.
  • A major concern with Instagram is access to pornographic content. According to Chris McKenna at protectyoungeyes.com, porn is too easy to find on Instagram. Although the app creators restrict content, pornographers have figured out how to game the system.
  • Teens often set up spam accounts where they post photos they don’t want their regular followers (such as parents) to see.

Pinterest (13 and up)

What parents need to know:

  • About 25 percent of teen girls use pinning sites like Pinterest to share inspiration.
  • There have been complaints that the site has few filters, which means it’s easy for users to access inappropriate content.

BeReal (13 and up)

What parents need to know:

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  • This app was created as a direct response to Instagram. Once a day at a random time, BeReal will notify users to take a picture with both cameras, and you have two minutes to take the photo, thus preventing users from being able to obsess over the perfect photos.
  • Only friends can comment on other people’s photos. However, anyone can react to photos, and anyone can send your child a friend request.
  • Photos can only be posted once a day, and only one photo can be deleted a day. This is to limit time on the app.

VSCO (13 and up)

What parents need to know:

  • VSCO describes itself as a creative channel with a creator-first philosophy.
  • Like Instagram, VSCO users can post and see other users’ photographs and videos and communicate with those who follow them via messaging. Unlike Instagram, users cannot like one another’s posts.
  • VSCO says it doesn’t allow nudity or hate-driven posts, but Common Sense Media found suggestive and even explicit material and references to alcohol and drugs.
  • Location data is shared unless turned off in privacy settings.

(Author note: The term “VSCO girl” has floated around my house quite a bit recently. I’m told—and research confirms—the term refers to girls who like certain trendy brands. A look at my own daughter’s account shows lots of pictures of teen girls using filters and well-rehearsed poses to try to look as model-like as possible.)

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Other Apps Parents Should Know About

Bark, a company that creates a tool for parents to monitor kids online, has found that teens are using unexpected technologies to evade parental controls.

What parents should know teens are using:

  • Google Docs to write messages without any record.
  • AirDrop to send notes and photos.
  • Real Estate apps to throw parties in empty homes on the market

Article has been updated as of August 2019

FAQs

What apps can 13 year olds use? ›

Best Apps for Kids Age 13–17
  • Animoto: Slideshow Maker. age 13+ Freemium slideshow tool better on privacy than similar apps. ...
  • Autodesk Sketchbook. age 13+ ...
  • Codea. age 13+ ...
  • Evernote. age 13+ ...
  • Finding Home - A Refugee's Journey. age 13+ ...
  • Ground News. age 13+ ...
  • Happy Not Perfect: Meditation. age 13+ ...
  • Impressions: Face Swap Videos. age 13+

What apps can a 14 year old have? ›

10 Best Apps for Teens
  • Scholly. Available for iOS, Android, and on the web, Scholly is a robust scholarship finding platform. ...
  • Evernote. Perhaps the most popular productivity app around, and for good reason. ...
  • Instructables. ...
  • Pandora. ...
  • Sketchbook Pro. ...
  • Hakitzu Elite: Robot Hackers. ...
  • Khan Academy. ...
  • Magisto.
19 Feb 2015

What secret apps are kids using? ›

Some of these commonly used apps by teenagers and even adults are Vault, Locker, Hide It Pro, and Calculator Vault. However, you can have your kids open up about what they have hidden in their phones by conversing with them.

What's the most popular app 2022? ›

Facebook still leads the world in monthly active users, with all four of the top four apps, followed by TikTok, Amazon, Twitter, and others.

What is SnapKidz app? ›

A parent-child photo album product specially designed for parents, Ai intelligently helps you pick out children from cluttered photos!

Is Tinder for 15 year olds? ›

If a teen wants to use a dating app, this is safe. If used appropriately it has a separate teen section that is moderated well. Tinder: Another messaging and dating app popular among the youth. It is used by teenagers between 13-17 and allows interaction only with that age group.

Is there Tinder for 14 year olds? ›

Can Teens Connect with Users over 18? Users aged between 13 and 17 can see only other Tinder users within the same age group. Users over 18 can see only other users who are also over 18. Tinder identifies age based on the date of birth given on Facebook.

Is TikTok ok for a 13 year old? ›

At what age should a child be allowed to be on TikTok? Jean Twenge, our nation's leading researcher on how social media impacts child and adolescent development, recommends that no child under 13 should be on any social media, including TikTok. And I would add that many 13-year-olds aren't ready.

Is Snapchat OK for 13 yo? ›

Common Sense Media rates Snapchat OK for teens 16 and up, mainly because of the exposure to age-inappropriate content and the marketing ploys, such as quizzes, that collect data.

Is TikTok OK for kids under 13? ›

Creating a TikTok account

TikTok has a 12+ rating in the Apple App Store and is listed as “Parental Guidance Recommended” in Google's Play Store. If you don't want your teen to download TikTok, these ratings mean you can prevent them from doing so using the parental controls available via these stores or platforms.

Can a 14 have Cash App? ›

Anyone between the ages of 13 and 17 can get access to expanded Cash App features in the US (including P2P transactions, Cash Card, Direct Deposit, and Boost) with approval from a parent or guardian. Once the parent or guardian approves the request, they are the legal owner of the 13-17 year old's account.

Is there a dating app for under 14? ›

Calling itself the “#1 teen dating site” in the U.S. and other countries, MyLOL is a website and app where teens can create profiles, search for people online and chat with others. Users must be at least 13 and cannot be older than 19 to create an account.

Can Minors Get Cash App? ›

Allowing a minor to use Cash App

Kids under 13 years old, may not use our Services. Kids under 18 years of age may not use our Services unless authorized by a Cash App Dependent Account.

Which apps are hidden? ›

Click on the home screen settings. It will navigate you to the Hide apps menu; tap on it. Here, you will see the hidden apps that are not showing in the app list. If the hidden screen doesn't show any apps or the Hide apps menu is missing, it means no apps are hidden in your device.

How do I open hidden apps? ›

How to find hidden apps on Android phone?
  1. Tap the 'App Drawer' icon on the bottom-center or bottom-right of the home screen. ...
  2. Next tap the menu icon. ...
  3. Tap 'Show hidden apps (applications)'. ...
  4. If the above option does not appear there may not be any hidden apps;
16 Sept 2022

What is the face app everyone is using 2022? ›

FaceApp is one of the best mobile apps for AI photo editing. Turn your selfies into modeling portraits using one of the most popular apps with over 500 million downloads to date. FaceApp gives you everything you need to create Insta-worthy edits for free.

What is the number 1 trending app? ›

Tiktok as The Top Trending App

Did you know that more than two billion people have already put TikTok on their phones or tablets? Also, students who want to start their own blogs like this tool a lot.

Is SnapKidz still available in 2022? ›

Snapkidz has been discontinued.

Can a 7 year old have Snapchat? ›

According to the Snapchat Terms of Service, no one under the age of 13 is allowed to use the app. That said, it's extremely easy for kids to get around this rule when they sign up and many younger children are using the app.

Is it OK for an 11 year old to have Snapchat? ›

What is Snapchat's minimum age? Like many other social networks, the minimum age to use Snapchat is 13 years old.

Is there a dating app for 16 +? ›

1. Zoosk. Zoosk is one of the best online dating sites and apps in the world. Since its launch in 2007, the team has provided young adults with a place to meet and get to know one another in a private, safe, fun, easy, and genuine way.

Are there hookup apps for 17 year olds? ›

Skout is another most sites dating apps which allows you to create profile as a teenager or 17-year-olds adult.

Is Yubo a dating app? ›

It's a social discovery app that utilizes swiping between profiles and live stream videos in order to meet new people from all over the world. And yes, it is just friends.

Is it illegal to use Tinder 16? ›

Most popular dating apps (including Tinder, Hinge, Bumble, Grindr, Scruff, Jack'd, and Her) mandate that users be at least 18 to join. ​​When signing up, users must provide their birthday or link a social-media profile that includes their date of birth.

Is it illegal to use Tinder 17? ›

The minimum age requirement for Tinder is 18 years old. If you've been restricted from Tinder because you didn't meet our age requirement, you can't continue with signup until you turn 18.

Can a 7 year old get TikTok? ›

What is the Age Limit for TikTok? The minimum age for a TikTok user is 13 years old. While this is great news for younger users, it's important to note that TikTok doesn't use any age verification tools when new users sign up.

Can a 7 year old use TikTok? ›

The app has an age-rating of 13+. Users can browse different videos on TikTok via a personalised feed known as the 'For You Page'. You can also search for content using topics or hashtags.

Is there an 18+ section on TikTok? ›

TikTok's latest update includes the option for users to restrict their live streams to users over the age of 18.

Should a 11 year old have a phone? ›

Helps Keep Kids Safe

The easiest and best reason to buy a mobile phone for an 11-year-old kid is safety. Kids face many dangers these days, and having a mobile phone can help protect them. Kids should know how to use their phones in case of emergencies while they're out on their own.

How can I get SnapKidz? ›

What's the difference between Snapchat and SnapKidz? In a way, there is just one app. When you download Snapchat you are prompted to create a user account including your date of birth. If you indicate that you are less than thirteen years old, you get SnapKidz instead of the full-blown version of the app.

What is TikTok age limit? ›

TikTok requires its users to be at least 13 years old – although there's no robust age-verification in place. Despite users having to be aged 13 and up the age ratings for TikTok are, a little confusingly, 12+ on the Apple App and Google Play stores.

What does 18 mean on TikTok? ›

The internet acronym is mostly used by users who share NSFW and adult content that is not meant for anyone under the age of 18. The phrase allows users to signpost that they will not interact with underage people, and signifies a content warning to minor users.

Who owns TikTok? ›

TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based tech giant ByteDance, is used by over 1 billion people worldwide every month.

How do you borrow money from the Cash App? ›

How To Borrow Money on Cash App
  1. Open Cash App.
  2. Tap on your Cash App balance located in the lower left corner.
  3. Go to the “Banking” header.
  4. Check for the word “Borrow.”
  5. If you see “Borrow,” you can take out a Cash App loan.
  6. Tap on “Borrow.”
  7. Tap “Unlock.”
  8. Cash App will tell you how much you'll be able to borrow.
13 Oct 2022

Can you be 13 and have Cash App? ›

Anyone 13+ can request a Cash Card. Customers 13-17 can get access to expanded Cash App features in the US with approval from a parent or guardian.

Can a 13 year old use PayPal? ›

The PayPal User Agreement states, “If you are an individual, you must be a resident of the United States or one of its territories and at least 18 years old, or the age of majority in your state of residence open to a U.S. PayPal Account to use the PayPal Services.”

How do I get a girlfriend at 13? ›

Show an interest in her life.
  1. Ask her about her dance classes or any sports she plays. Girls love talking about their interests.
  2. Ask her about her pets. If she has a cat or a dog, she'll love that you care.
  3. Ask her about her friends. ...
  4. Make sure that you have a balance.

Can a 12 year old use a dating app? ›

And there are plenty of teenage dating apps for that—for example, Yubo, an app that's billed as a way to make new friends, is for ages 12 and up; SKOUT and Taffy, which are marketed more directly as teen dating apps, are for ages 17 and up.

Can minors use venmo? ›

Venmo requires all users to be at least 18 years old in order to use their service. Users under the age of 18 cannot create accounts, nor can they send, receive, or transfer money using the service.

How can I get my 15 year old a Cash App card? ›

The teens' accounts are designed to be managed with parental oversight. Parents who authorize Cash App for their kids are the account's legal owner and will be able to review their teen's monthly activity through Statements. They'll also be able to pause or cancel the teen's account and Cash Card at any time.

What is the most used app right now? ›

Top 10 Most Downloaded Apps of 2021
  • TikTok. It's no surprise that TikTok is one of the most downloaded apps of 2021. ...
  • 2. Facebook. ...
  • Instagram. ...
  • WhatsApp. ...
  • Telegram. ...
  • Moj. ...
  • Zoom. ...
  • Snapchat.

What apps are kids using nowadays? ›

These include:
  • Whatsapp. This messaging app is extremely popular among kids and teens, but it has a number of safety concerns. ...
  • Houseparty. This video-chatting app is popular among kids and teens, but it has been known to allow strangers into chats, which can lead to inappropriate content being shared.
  • Hoop. ...
  • Kik. ...
  • Discord.
13 May 2022

What is the #1 used app? ›

Answer: TikTok has been the most downloaded app, and it is indeed the most used app so far, closely followed by Instagram, Facebook, and WhatsApp. Q #3) How many users are on TikTok? Answer: TikTok has over 1 billion active users worldwide.

What social media do 14 year olds use? ›

During a fall 2021 survey, it was found that Snapchat was the most important social network for 35 percent of U.S. teens. Fast-growing social video app TikTok was ranked second with 30 percent of teenagers in the United States stating it to be their favorite, ahead of legacy platforms Facebook and Twitter.

What apps everyone uses? ›

Top apps everyone should have on their phone
  • Snapchat.
  • Instagram.
  • WhatsApp.
  • Facebook Messenger.
  • Facebook.
13 Jul 2022

What age is Likee for? ›

How old do you have to be to use Likee? On the Play Store, Likee is rated Teen, which means it's considered suitable for ages 13 and up.

Is it OK for a 14 year old to have Snapchat? ›

Common Sense Media rates Snapchat OK for teens 16 and up, mainly because of the exposure to age-inappropriate content and the marketing ploys, such as quizzes, that collect data.

How long should a 14 year old be on her phone? ›

For years, the American Academy of Pediatrics has recommended no more than two hours of screen time for children and teenagers, and absolutely no screen time for children under 2.

What are the kids using instead of Facebook? ›

Twitter and Facebook are teenagers' least favorite social media platforms, a new survey found. Instagram and TikTok were their favorites, and 81% of respondents said they used the former.

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