This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 9/30/2016

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Snapchat is growing up fast, and competitors are rushing to copy its features. They might never catch up to this moving target. This week Snapchat changed its name to Snap, and will soon begin selling a line of video glasses.

Snapchat’s Wild New Specs Won’t Share Google Glass’ Fate

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Musical.ly, the lip synching app/social networkish thing, is a big hit with teens. If your teen or tween is into singing, she is probably on it, and that may be a good thing. It turns out that the record companies are fans too, as they are using it to surface new, young talent.

Teen-Focused App Musical.ly Is the Music Industry’s New Secret Weapon

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pepePepe the Frog is an internet meme that has been around since 2005. Pepe is harmless if sometimes snarky, and largely minds his own business or gets in to others’ on 4chan and less frequently Reddit. Pepe was recently co-opted as the mascot of some alt right supporters of Donald Trump, and now the Anti-Defamation League has added Pepe to its list of hate symbols. What a strange election this has been. Feels bad man.

Pepe the Frog Meme Listed as a Hate Symbol

Added bonus: There’s a man with a Pepe tattoo on his hand, and he’s not loving this.

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Since its beginning, messaging app WhatsApp has been known for protecting the privacy of its users. Last month, they tried to quietly announce that they will begin sharing user data with parent company Facebook. Permission creep continues, and German regulators have a real problem with that.

Germany orders Facebook to stop collecting data on WhatsApp users

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A rookie cop in Pennsylvania set some kind of record this week – she lost two jobs with one Snapchat post.

Cop loses 2 jobs for Snapchat pic with racial slur

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“One-third of all kids appear on social media within the first twenty four hours of their lives.” That might not be a great idea for all kids.
The Darker Side of Posting Your Baby’s Pics on Social Media
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Did we miss an interesting story? Please let us know.

 

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This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 9/23/2016

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For the most part, The Guardian does a good job covering some of the more nuanced aspects of social media. That being said, this article baffles us. They found a handful of millennials who have quit social media entirely and are happy with their decision. If they were unhappy, they would have gone back to social media.

Does quitting social media make you happier? Yes, say young people doing it

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Chances are at least some of the news that your teen consumes is delivered via social media. Facebook has acknowledged that some of that news is fake, and they are taking steps to clean it up.

Facebook to roll out tech for combating fake stories in its Trending topics

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Yik Yak downloadsYik Yak, the once anonymous local chat app, is dying – even at colleges. RIP.

College students have totally lost interest in Yik Yak — and it could kill the app

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We don’t see how the word needs another messaging app. Google created one anyway, and it uses AI to write your messages for you. The previews of Allo featured pretty lofty privacy protections. Not so fast.

Google weakens Allo privacy promises

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“Mooning” is a new term for ignoring someone’s text messages by turning on the “do not disturb” function on your phone for that person. I think my teens have been mooning me.

Is someone texting you too much? Just moon them.

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A Belmont University student made a post on Snapchat Monday that was very inappropriate and very racist. By Tuesday, he was expelled. Friendly reminder: Snapchat posts aren’t necessarily private, and don’t always disappear.

Belmont removes student after racist post goes viral

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Twitter’s algorithm, if you have it turned on, shows you the tweets you are most likely to be interested in first. If there are tweets that you don’t like, and want to see less of, Twitter is rolling out a setting for that too.

Twitter Asks You To Identify Tweets You Don’t Like So It Can Hone Its Algorithm

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A Massachusetts legislator has introduced a bill that will require the FBI to track cases of online harassment of individuals. Will tracking the number of cases of online stalking and abuse lead to better behavior? Tough to say.

Will tracking digital harassment help defend against internet trolls?

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Creepy clowns are taking to Facebook and threatening to show up at schools and terrorize kids. Really.

Clown Facebook post, warnings put more Alabama schools on lockdown

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Did we miss an interesting story? Please let us know.

 

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Instagram’s New “Save Draft” Function Will Be a Hit With Teens

We wrote earlier this year about an Instagram phenomenon that we think is very interesting. The post, titled “What’s up with teens and semi-private Instagram accounts?”, laid out what we see as the typical way that teens (especially teen girls) manage and curate their Instagram presence.

For reference, here is a screen grab of the images we posted with that article:

screen-shot-2016-09-22-at-7-55-38-am

Notice anything similar about those 3 accounts? Again, from that post in February:

  • The accounts are all set to private
  • The accounts all follow a large number of accounts
  • The accounts all have a large number of followers
  • The accounts have posted precious few photos to their network

Bullet four is about to go to a whole new level. This week, Instagram introduced a “save draft” function.

From what we’ve seen, heard and read in research, until now the 20 or so photos that teen girls keep in their Instagram feed are there based on a number of factors including how many likes to posts gets in the few minutes immediately after being posted. Another obvious factor determining the whether the picture stays or goes is how good/pretty/amazing it is in the opinion of the poster.

With drafts, we expect to see (not “see” per se, but you get it) girls agonizing over the right filter/caption/effect and whether the photo is worthy of a shot at permanence before ultimately posting the pic, or discarding it before it ever gets posted.

That’s not good or bad, it’s just the way it is. Lots of frivolous photos get posted to Snapchat, then disappear (kind of, maybe). Other photos may get posted to the teen’s other Instagram account. A lot of teens treat their Instagram feed more like a museum that a social network. It looks like that will continue.

 

 

If you are worried that your teen or tween is at risk, we can help. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

 

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Looking for Teens to Take Our Cyberbullying Survey

Here’s a shout out to our newest intern Julia. Julia has been working with us since the beginning of the summer. She is a junior at Montgomery High School here in New Jersey, is an excellent student and her interests include computer science and marching band.

no-cyberbullyingThe latest project that she has been working on is a new teen cyberbullying survey.

The rise of cyberbullying, and the increased interest in it, has tracked closely with the rise of cell phones and social media. There have been dozens of cyberbullying surveys over the last few years, but things are changing so quickly with the internet and social media that we are very interested in seeing some current data. Some of those surveys have included in their sample both parents and teens. We wanted to do one that just focuses on teens, and that’s exactly what we have here.

If you are a teen, we would love to have you fill out the survey. It just takes a few minutes. If you are a parent, please ask your teens to fill it out, or share it with friends.

THIRDPARENT CYBERBULLYING SURVEY

We’ll be back with a summary of the full results next month. If you want to see the results, look for the blog post by following us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter below.

 

 

If you are worried that your teen or tween is at risk, we can help. The ThirdParent initial audit is now FREE (previously a $49 value). Ongoing monitoring is $15 per month and you can cancel at any time. Click here to sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

 

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 9/16/2016

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A 14-year old girl from Northern Ireland had a nude picture fall into the wrong hands – the result of extortion according to her claim. The photo was posted to a shame page on Facebook, and then reposted repeatedly. She is now suing Facebook for unspecified damages, claiming that Facebook’s failure to quickly take down the original picture has caused her significant pain and suffering. Facebook claims it took the picture down as soon as it was reported. This could set an interesting precedent.

14-year-old sues Facebook over nude photo posted to “shame” site

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This case in Austria also has the potential to set an interesting precedent: An 18-year old is suing her parents over the 500+ photos of her they’ve posted on Facebook over the years. Her father has repeatedly refused to take them down. She has a good case, we think.

Daughter, 18, sues her parents for posting embarrassing photographs of her as a child on Facebook
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Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 11.27.22 AMMichael Jackson’s daughter Paris took to Instagram and posted a series of videos decrying cyberbullying. She says that she left social media for two years over the abuse and even attempted suicide. Say something nice online today.

Paris Jackson Speaks out Against Cyberbullying, Defends Justin Bieber

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The iPhone is the dominant device among teens from what we can see. Now that iOS 10 has arrived, there are some changes to the security settings that all users should take a look at.

Five security settings in iOS 10 you should immediately change

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Is there a cause that your teen is passionate about? Does she post about it on social media? Good news – a new study has found that online activism really is making a difference.

An Annenberg study found that social media activism is way more powerful than you think

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The back to school playbook on social media is in full effect: Week 1 – school bomb threats. Week 2 – schoolyard fight videos posted on Twitter and Instagram fight accounts.

Disturbing videos of teenagers fighting posted on social media

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This week a New Jersey school was forced to have a delayed opening and postponed back-to-school night after a series of school shooting threats were posted to Facebook. Plot twist 1: The person making the posts was not quickly apprehended. Plot twist 2: The police claim that it was not a student who made the threats.

Threats to ‘shoot up’ school not coming from students, officials say

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Did we miss an interesting story? Please let us know.

 

NEW: For a limited time the ThirdParent audit is FREE (normally $49). You can cancel at any time. Sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

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This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 9/9/2016

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Facebook’s age limit is 13 years of age, but it doesn’t seem to matter. According to one survey, one quarter of 9 – 10 year olds and one half of 11 – 12 year olds are using it. The numbers for Instagram and Snapchat are probably similar, and these kids are prime targets for cyberbullies and predators. It’s time for some real thought and effort to go into online age verification.

The Kids Who Lie About Their Age to Join Facebook

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An iconic image of the Vietnam war was deleted from Facebook (by Facebook) and the poster’s account was banned. The photo, which featured a naked girl running from a napalm attack (you know the one) apparently violates Facebook rule against showing full nudity. Norway’s largest newspaper is calling Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg the world’s most powerful editor, and calling for him to end his abuse of power.

Mark Zuckerberg accused of abusing power after Facebook deletes ‘napalm girl’ post

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Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 11.27.22 AMNiantic, the makers of smash hit game Pokémon GO, are introducing Pokémon Go Plus, a watch-like device that will allow Pokémon hunters to play the game without having the phone in their hands.

Pokemon Go Plus finally launches next week

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Much has been made about how social media can make you sad, or if you’re already down make it worse. A new study out of Carnegie Mellon University reveals that the converse is also true. Facebook can make you as happy as getting married or having a baby. Your results may vary.

Friends help friends on Facebook feel better

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Officials at a Massachusetts high school are warning students to be wary of a predator on Snapchat who is soliciting compromising pictures from sophomore boys. The police are struggling with the investigation, as no victims have as yet come forward.

Weston schools warn of Snapchat account soliciting explicit photos

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An Uber driver’s car was shot up by a San Diego teen after an argument. What were they arguing about? The teen was bad mouthing the driver on social media, then left his phone unlocked in the car after drop off. Not cool.

Teen Shoots at Uber Driver After Argument Over Social Media Posts

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If your teen daughter (a) goes to college in the Atlanta area, (b) has a large Instagram following, (c) is gorgeous, and (d) is interested in modeling, we still don’t recommend this “opportunity”.

craigslist modeling

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Did we miss an interesting story? Please let us know.

 

NEW: For a limited time the ThirdParent audit is FREE (normally $49). You can cancel at any time. Sign up today!

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

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This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 9/2/2016

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The kids are back to school, and armed with their phones. Have you talked to them recently about not making school threats, even if they’re joking?

school social media threats

Back To School and Social Media Threats

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A new study from Oxford University found that for the first time, social media has passed television as the top news source for 18 – 24 year olds. Let’s hope these young adults are getting their news from Reddit and not 4chan.

Study: Social Media Overtakes TV as Main Source of News for 18-24

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Some kids are taking social media posts way too personally. A Texas girl was stabbed on a school bus on the way to school over social media post from the night before.

Girl stabbed on school bus during fight over social media post

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Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 11.27.22 AMFacebook’s suggested friends feature has a way of creeping users out from time to time. In an instance this month, a psychiatrist was shocked to find out that his patients were being served friend suggestions to each other, even when they had never met.

Facebook recommended that this psychiatrist’s patients friend each other

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Facebook’s Trending News section was until recently manned by a group of curators, who some claim were largely ignored. Now they’ve been dismissed entirely and the Trending section is curated by an algorithm alone. It’s still not working all that well.

Facebook replaced human news curators with an algorithm, and it’s already a total mess

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It’s 2016, so of course there’s a Twitter account that exists solely to rate dogs on a scale of 1 – 10. Silly? Sure, but the account has 376,000 followers. This week, the man behind the account was revealed, and he is a college student from North Carolina.

NC college student behind wildly popular ‘WeRateDogs’ Twitter page

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The Texas Tech football coach admitted in an interview this week that he and his staff use fake Twitter accounts to spy on players who have their accounts set to private. Not cool, coach.

Texas Tech Football Coach Admits to Catfishing Players

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Did we miss an interesting story? Please let us know.

 

NEW: For a limited time the ThirdParent audit is FREE (normally $49). You can cancel at any time. Sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 8/26/2016

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Do teen social media preferences come down to intimacy vs. immediacy? The Wall Street Journal interviewed experts on why 5 – 15% of teens don’t use social media at all. We haven’t met any of them, by the way.

Teens Who Say No to Social Media

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The media’s fascination with how teens really use social media continues. There is an unwritten code of conduct, especially on Instagram. “If I’m not touching 40 likes, I’m probably going to delete it.” These teens are extremely plugged in, and “recognize guidelines that govern their social habits.”

 

LIKE. FLIRT. GHOST: A JOURNEY INTO THE SOCIAL MEDIA LIVES OF TEENS

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Screen Shot 2016-06-17 at 11.27.22 AMSnapchat is currently to go-to app for millennials and teens. Everybody wants a piece of the pie, and Apple may be its next competitor.
Apple is reportedly developing a Snapchat killer
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Messaging app WhatsApp, owned by Facebook, has avoided showing ads to users so far. This week, news broke that they will start sharing user data with Facebook. Permission creep continues. Good news: users can opt out, and should.

WhatsApp and Facebook data sharing: How to opt out of the invasive new terms

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It seems to me that teens know this but parents might not: our kids are more likely to be cyberbullied by “friends” than by strangers. Sad but true.

Teen Cyberbullies More Apt to Be Friends Than Strangers

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This week we did a quick review of Lifestage, Facebook’s new app just for high school students. App store rankings and a lack of buzz make it look like it’s anything but a hit. It has a 2-star rating in the iOS App Store, and is not in the top 100 free downloads. That’s a good thing, since it’s a privacy disaster. FB addresses part of that here.

Facebook’s new app for high schoolers raises privacy concerns

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Teen dating was difficult enough before social media. When things get tough and relationships end, Snapchat can add salt to the wounds.

Why Snapchat is hell for the brokenhearted

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Did we miss an interesting story? Please let us know.

 

NEW: For a limited time the ThirdParent audit is FREE (normally $49). You can cancel at any time. Sign up today!

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

This Week in Social Media News For Parents

Stories for the week ending 8/19/2016

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Instagram, owned by Facebook, really, really wants to beat Snapchat. If your teen is an Instagram power user, she might have been invited to IG Young Artists, a virtual pizza party and market research feedback group that is digging in to how teens really use the app.

Inside the secret Facebook group Instagram uses to talk to teens

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Arkansas school for boysBack to school! An Arkansas high school posted a sign on the main door, telling parents that if they were arriving to drop off forgotten items for their kids, to turn around and go home. Apparently parents have an opinion about such things. The photo has been shared on Facebook 117,000 times.

High School Rule Going Viral for Turning away Parents

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Twitter is stepping up its battle against terrorism. Account suspensions due to links to or support of terrorism are up 80% this year, and total over 350,000 since mid 2015.

Twitter suspends hundreds of thousands of accounts for promoting terrorism

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Are you seeing a lot of garbage in your Twitter feed? That may be about to change. Twitter announced this week that they’re introducing a quality filter.

Twitter Rolls Out ‘Quality Filter’ to Block Abuse and Automated Content

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There is no shortage of video chat app options in the market, from Snapchat to Facetime to Skype to the handful of popular messaging apps. Now there’s one more, with Google getting into the game.

Google Takes Aim at Apple’s FaceTime

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In a true tragedy, two Irish teen sisters committed suicide within 45 days of each other. Cyberbullying on Ask.fm may have been the cause, or at least the beginning of the problem. School officials knew about the bullying and tried to help, but their actions fell short.

School and health services ‘knew Erin Gallagher (13) was bullied on controversial social media site before her death’ – inquest

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If you’re as famous as Justin Bieber, apparently posting picures of your 17-year old girlfriend on Instagram is not the best idea. He got trolled mercilessly by fans and haters and it went straight downhill from there, when he and his ex Selena Gomez accused each other of cheating in the comments. He has since deleted his account.

Justin Bieber Deletes Instagram Account

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There’s a stereotype about how catty high school girls can be. One author thinks it’s true, and that technology is making it worse. Parents aren’t doing much to help, mostly because they lack the tools to do so.

Why ‘Mean Girls’ are getting even meaner

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Did we miss an interesting story? Please let us know.

 

NEW: For a limited time the ThirdParent audit is FREE (normally $49). You can cancel at any time. Sign up today!

 

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for more news and information on keeping your teens safe online. You can also sign up for our weekly newsletter below.

 

Kendama, And How To Start A Teen Business Online

I was in Canada on vacation in July and was pleased with the weather and the opportunity to get away. One thing in particular surprised me on the trip, and that was the rapid rise in popularity of Kendama in the area.

colorful kendamaIf you haven’t heard of it, Kendama is a toy/game of Japanese origin, the original and most popular version featuring a wooden handle and a ball on a string. The player swings the ball in the air, and catches it on different sides of the handle. It’s a game of agility and imagination – the tricks that users can dream up and perform, many times after hours of practice – are almost limitless.

If you were a fan of hacky sack back in the day, you might want to consider a Kendama as a gift for your tween or early teen.

A friend’s teenage child showed me a Kendama and told me that he was going to go into business selling them online, and do in-person events. I may have looked skeptical, so he took me to his room and showed me a closet full of them. As of August 1st, he was officially in business.

Let’s take a look how the teen, who we’ll call Andy, did it:

Social Media – Andy set up social media profiles to build a following before he set up his website and began selling product. It is important that the brand, and not just the seller, have a presence on social media in order to build community. Andy has selected Facebook and Instagram (363 followers already!) as his first social profiles, and uses the business/website name as his social handles. Since Andy features lots of images on his social media, Instagram in particular is a good choice. You’ll notice that he uses hashtags effectively to increase his search relevance. Andy’s name and personal contact info are not listed anywhere on his social media profiles, a smart move when it comes to protecting his privacy. Remember, if your child is under 13, you as a parent will need to control the social media accounts.

Website – With the extensive help of his parents and a family friend, Andy set up a website, Northern Kendama. Some facets of the site, like the commerce/payment processing functionality, required more help from the parents than others. The site is bright and features lots of product images. Again, you’ll notice that Andy’s name isn’t listed NK Summer Jam 2016anywhere on the website; the contact info is his business email. The website looks good to go.

In-person events – If your teen is looking to start on online business, one of the most effective ways to get a jump-start is to hold a successful offline event. Andy hosted Summer Jam 2016 on August 12th and had a great turnout for his first event. Those kids will be fans, and probably customers, for a while.

Andy is up and running in business, and he and his parents have done a great job protecting his privacy. Your teen can do it too.

 

Contact ThirdParent any time for help and resources for monitoring child and teen internet activity.

Work at a high school or college? We have custom solutions for monitoring dangerous or inappropriate activity. Learn more.

 

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