Latin American Tweens and Social Networks
In July, Nickelodeon released a study on social network usage and attitudes among Latin American tweens
children who are starting to adopt teen attitudes, but haven’t left the world of kids behind. This segment has stronger opinions than previous generations and is fully immersed in technology and its associated forms of consumption. The study was based on Conicktado, an online panel of 60 children ages 9 to 13 in Argentina, Mexico, and Colombia. Here is a summary of key findings from that analysis: Main Findings
- The internet allows tweens to have more direct contact with peers after school
- Facebook is the “first social network” for tweens
- Though Facebook remains top-of-mind, Twitter and Google+ come up as alternatives
Half of Conicktado participants are registered with more than one social network.
- Social networks:
- Facebook is the social network for tweens
- Twitter is well-known, but little-used
- YouTube has the benefit of not requiring registration
- Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+ catch their attention, but they are not yet users
- The average age for starting to use social media is 9
- Facebook is the gateway social network and the winner within the segment
- Tweens feel their parents limit them in their use of social networks
Parents allow tweens to use social networks – but they control their activity.
- The main limitations parents set for their tweens’ social media use is in accepting or adding strangers as friends, the amount of time spent online, the content they upload/download, and the security of their photos
- Many parents “help” their kids create their first Facebook profile
- Kids without profiles of their own use their parents’ accounts
Many tweens are social networking on the go with their cell phones.
- •62% of Conicktado tweens have a cell phone with internet access
- They take pics with their phones and upload them to social networking sites
- WhatsApp and Facebook are the apps they use most on their phones (some tweens consider WhatsApp to be a social network)
Tweens imagine their lives would be unpleasant without social networks.
- •What do they think life would be like without social media? Boring, uninformed, monotonous, sad, and lacking communication
- “Boring and sad because we can’t stay in touch with people who are far away,” Female, 11, Colombia
- “It would be a life like The Flintstones – boring,” Male, 13, Mexico
- “Those of us who don’t use the phone would be cut off, no communication,” Female, 13, Argentina
Thanks to social networks, the fun carries on at home.
- Social media enables tweens to remain in touch with friends after school
- They can do homework together, play games, and socialize
- Less coordination, less planning, and less parental intervention
Going online and using social networks offers tweens connection to others, self-expression, the latest information, and games. Content they upload and share:
- Photos – with family and friends, as well as from vacation, school, or experiences out and about
- Videos – songs by favorite artists, funny videos, practical jokes
- Very expressive status updates – for their friends or family, expressing like or dislike of certain artists, etc.
- Tweens average 2-3 hours online per day (more on weekends) – they spend that time chatting with friends, playing games, uploading/commenting on photos, looking at friends’ profiles, sharing videos, and listening to music
- What’s worthy of a “like”? Well-known brands, photos of friends or famous people, thought-provoking or romantic phrases, jokes
- Favorite online games: Candy Crush Saga, CityVille, Pet City, Criminal Case, Social Empires, Angry Birds
Their main dislikes when using social networks are vulgarity, bullying, and strangers.
- Vulgar content – obscene photos, rude or aggressive comments, offensive language
- Bullying – many have been victims of online bullying, and they react negatively to it
- Strangers – they are wary of people they don’t know; while parents are in control here, tweens are also very aware of this issue
- Twitter use is growing among tweens because of its lesser participation (and diminished parental control)
- Though the internet grants greater autonomy to tweens when it comes to being in contact with peers, parents’ inclusion in kids’ social networks has allowed them greater control over their children’s usage
- For now, social networks used on PCs rule the roost – but given the growth in smartphone ownership among tweens, participation in more visually-oriented social networks like Instagram and Google+ is on the rise
For more information please contact: Noel.Gladstone@vimn.com