Top 5 Most Popular Social Media Apps

There’s an app for that you know!

Following the training I gave, I’m going to do a couple of top 5 lists for different apps and services.  The training went really well.  Thanks to all those who gave their feedback.

(Please contact me if anyone is interested in me speaking to the staff and administration in their school district, religious  or community organization.)

One thing that has been constant since smart phones and apps were first debuted is their popularity among children, teens and adults.

Erik Erikson’s stages of psychosocial development still hold true with the main stage being between the ages of 13 and 21 which is Identity vs Role Confusion.  We’re all seeking to define our identity.  Social Media is playing an ever-growing part of that identity for children and teens.


(See this article from for a great in depth explanation of the stages)

Our children don’t want us to know everything they are doing, just like we didn’t want our parents to be a part of or know everything we did.  It’s necessary for their development for them to separate and develop autonomy…

ParentingFamilySolutionsHeadphonesBut it should be within reason.

I don’t want to get bogged down or sidetracked with


“The kids these days” or “Back in my day”…

There is some validity to that mindset.  We could easily have an entire discussion on that one and I’d be happy to do that in the comments section; but, what I really want this post to be is education about current apps, trends and what to do about them.  I will revisit this post in the future and update the information as it changes.

The main types of social media apps fall into a couple of categories: Messaging, Microblogging, Live Streaming, Self Destructing and Dating.  However, they are increasingly designing apps to be one-stop shopping apps so that you can do everything inside of one app whereas they were previously more niche.

So without further ado:

The Top 5 Apps Your Teens are Using:

  1. Facebook and Facebook Messenger – Ok, this one is no surprise and unless you’ve been on another planet for the past 2 decades, I’m assuming you know about these.

Jeff Dunn’s article quoted Facebook at 2,006 Million and FB Messenger at 1,200 Million monthly active users. Taking up the #1 and #3 spot.

What you need to pay attention to is the trend that more and more teens are getting off of FB and going to other messaging apps to break away from FB which is viewed as something their parents use.  But obviously, they are far and away the most popular with their Facebook Live feeds, ads and darkposting.  They have become the Budweiser of the tech world in that they will either create their own app to compete with yours or they’ll buy you out and take over.


With FB Live it allows a person to stream video content live, which can be great for staying current on things and helps an audience feel more connected. However, it also allows for streaming negative content, such as school fights, bullying, self-injury or even suicide.

2. WhatsApp – This is a messaging app that is continuing to gain in popularity as it allows for text messaging and sharing photos, videos and phone calls through wifi so that no data plan is necessary.  ParentingFamilySolutionsWhatsApp

One issue is that it’s possible for a person to get ahold of a phone that has no data plan or minutes.  However, when they are within wifi it is possible to use apps like WhatsApp to call and text as well as use other features.  Furthermore, if a teen gets access to their parents AppleID they can download these apps onto their own phone without the parent even being aware.

WhatsApp gained notoriety in March 2017 as Khalid Masood reportedly used it to send a message moments before committing the London terror attacks killing four people and wounding numerous others.  It offers end-to-end encryption and 2-factor authentication and has been involved in legal suits with British and US governments (along with other apps) who want access to the messages.

BusinessInsider listed it as the #2 with 1,300 Million monthly users.  It’s popular among teens because of the ability to download and use it without needing a data plan and because it’s not FB…However, FB acquired the app in 2014.  So that means Facebook currently owns the #1,2 and 3 most popular apps…but shhhhh, don’t ruin the surprise by telling the kids.


3. Instagram – Another more widely recognized and used social networking app that focuses on photo and video sharing as well as live video streaming.


They are listed at 700 Million monthly users. Things to note, “when your profile is created and set to public, anyone can find and view your profile, along with all your photos and videos.” Elise Moreau, Lifewire  No matter how private you set things, nothing is foolproof as we have seen countless times with identity theft and hacking over the past 2 years. Can you say Equifax?

4. Twitter – a microblogging app that allows you to send short messages of 140 characters or less as well as follow other users.


Popular because of how widespread it’s use has become, the coining of the hashtag # into popular culture usage, and the ability to follow celebrities and other popular media figures.

5. Snapchat – Probably the most popular self-destruct messaging app.  Popular for the multiple filters, ability to take and send pictures as well as videos and add text and graphics to those images.

The major things to pay attention to with Snapchat are the screenshots you can take. When using Snapchat the sender is notified if a screenshot is taken; however, if the receiver is using a mirroring app no notification is sent (more on that in a minute).  Other issues are in updates to the app you can agree to turn on location settings without being aware.  Third is the prevalence of inappropriate material being sent and screenshot, which prompted them to raise their age restrictions.


Mirroring Apps – Apps like Casper, SnapCrack, SaveMySnaps and SnapBox are available for both Android and iOS.  They allow you to open Snapchats and save screenshots without the sender being notified.

Now, I don’t want to give the impression that all technology or even all apps are bad.  Or that all teenagers are going to snap sexual pics of themselves and send them to strangers.  But the positives and negatives as well as staying close to the cutting edge of the trends is something that parents and authority figures need to be more aware of.  Conversations with our kids need to be happening about social media and its place in our homes and lives.

What are the apps you use the most?  What about your kids?

Why? What do they allow you to do?

How do you see their impact on the world around us?

I’m going to take the next post to break down the different types of apps and popular apps within each of those genres before moving on to resources for what to do about the negatives as well as explaining Technology Addiction in more detail.

Disclaimer: The author of this post is not engaged in a therapeutic relationship with the reader and cannot give counseling advice without a confidential appointment. Readers should be sure to consult with a licensed therapist in their area or seek emergency medical attention if they are experiencing difficulty.
Parenting & Family Solutions –


15 thoughts on “Top 5 Most Popular Social Media Apps

  1. Wow all these mirroring apps you mentioned at the end of the post – I’ve never heard of each one of them! Am I old fashioned? I still consider myself pretty young. Truth is there was no such thing as a social media when I was a teenager. I’m not sure if I should be happy about it. I’ve always been curious and liked to learn new thing. But it was pretty hard to get some onfobabout a topic. Best way was to rush to the local library. Long live the google 🙂 after reading your post I am a bit happy J was not a victim of the ciberspace. The benefit of all is that we had to be creative and use our brains to get to the info.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Sylvia. Thanks for following along! Definitely! The rabbit hole goes on forever. That’s one of my counterarguments to the “back in my day…”. Kids today have to deal with bullying on a 24-7 basis. And it doesn’t go away. It’s permanently there for anyone to search. In most ways I’d say we were better off not having it. I was talking to a colleague today about the huge increase in anxiety even in just the past 2-3 years. My next topic will focus heavily on anxiety after the social media posts

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Yeah Unfortunately “back in the day” I was also bullied, they called me alien because of my big eyes… So, I imagine how worse it is nowafays… poor kids I feel sooo sorry about them… I will be waiting for your next topic. Ghanks for sharing 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Great post! I’m only 23 and sometimes I feel out of the loop. Maybe it was a product of growing up when it was all coming around. A week could pass in high school and there would be something new. My parents tried to keep me away from it all, but in the end their’s no getting around social media.

    So many schools and colleges require it now. I’ve even had jobs ask for my Facebook and look at me funny (and not believe me) when I said I didn’t have one. At the time, I really didn’t, I was forced to make one when I realized that was the only answer that would make an employer happy. I can only hope it’s a long lasting fad that will end eventually. Though, part of me wonders about the good parts and how to capitalize on those while eliminating the rest. Maybe something better will eventually come out.

    Liked by 2 people

    • It will definitely change to something else at some point. But, I agree, there’s no getting around it. That’s kind of funny about your interviews. I question whether it’s legal for them to do that, even though I’ve heard HR depts look online immediately and check FB and LinkedIn. It has to be some type of discrimination. Thanks for reading and for your comments!

      Liked by 2 people

      • Normally I would think it discrimination of some kind; however, I do happen to work in marketing. My thing is, I work in marketing all day, why would I go home and get on social media again. However, I suppose I can see their point.

        Liked by 2 people

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